#PittsburghMe: Meet Student-Athlete Jonathan Hanks Student Profile
Meet Jonathan Hanks
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- April 2021
- Athletic and academic
- Zanesville, Ohio
- High School
- Tri-Valley High School
- Dream Job
- Marketing Director for a Major League Soccer team
"Point Park welcomes all religions, races, ages, sexual orientations and the students come from all walks of life. Every student brings value to the University in different ways, whether it’s musical talent, performance art, athletic ability or academic excellence."
Why did you choose Point Park?
I initially visited Point Park to try out for the soccer program and to learn more about the University. After playing with the soccer team and taking a campus tour, I fell in love with every part of the school. The Downtown Pittsburgh urban location was exactly what I was looking for and the bonus of playing our home soccer games at Highmark Stadium made my decision clear. I knew that living in the city and going to Point Park would present me with opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
As a soccer player, how do you balance school and athletics?
Being a student athlete is a great opportunity to learn valuable lessons both inside and outside of sports, and I would not trade it for anything. Prioritizing your school work over anything else is crucial. The key to managing a sport at the university level is to communicate with your professors about practice schedules, telegraphing your absences and making arrangements for assignments to be turned in at alternate dates when necessary. I’ve learned to develop better time management skills to keep up with my chaotic schedule. Cutting out the small everyday distractions also helps me stay on track.
What opportunities have you had through your major?
In my first semester, the SAEM department provided me with an opportunity to job shadow Susan Drapkin, the senior director of sponsorship at Live Nation Entertainment. While attending an SAEM job fair, I was able to connect with local businesses and organizations which helped me land a job at Heinz Field as a game day staff member. In the coming months, I will be interning with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds marketing team.
As a photographer, where is your favorite place in the city to take pictures?
It's difficult to pinpoint just one location in Pittsburgh because this is a city with a lot of photogenic qualities. I like to spend most of my time focusing on street photography, which is just capturing strangers living their day-to-day lives. You never know what you might see or who you will come across downtown, so it's the perfect place to slow down and search for those fleeting moments.
What is your favorite Point Park memory?
My favorite memory would have to be traveling with the soccer team on our away game trips. It feels good to have a break in the routine to get on the road for a few days. There is nothing quite like hopping on the bus with my best friends to travel and play the sport we are all passionate about. Sharing meals, jokes, matches and hours on the road has brought our team together.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
My best advice would be to relax and soak it all in. There isn’t a single person out there who wouldn’t fit in here. Point Park welcomes all religions, races, ages, sexual orientations and the students come from all walks of life. Every student brings value to the university in different ways, whether it’s musical talent, performance art, athletic ability or academic excellence. Point Park has a little bit for everybody, and it’s easy to connect with those around you and make friends. It’s important to take a step back and understand all of the opportunities you have to get involved on and off campus and to make the most of your college experience.
Text by Anna Wolf, junior public relations and advertising major