By Matthew Michaels, GABELLI, BS ’17
Dream big, but remain focused on your current work and do your best where you are, an executive with the Brooklyn Nets told a group of Fordham University students during a visit to the basketball team’s home office in Brooklyn.
Andrew Schwartz, the Nets’ senior vice president of global partnerships, said those bigger dreams may help motivate you to do even better work where you are. His advice was only a part of what students in the Fordham Business of Sports Society learned during the visit, which was organized by Louis Frangella, BS ’13, co-founder of the club and current employee of the Nets.
In addition to Schwartz, Jeff Scott, Elisa Padilla and Tracy Sandoval spoke. The office runs the business side of the Nets, but it also is responsible for operations of the team’s home arena, the Barclays Center, and the New York Islanders’ upcoming move to Brooklyn.
Schwartz spoke to the group on his fourth anniversary of his employment with the Nets. He previously worked for the New Jersey Devils, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and Sirius XM. The executive encouraged students to “knock on doors” and ask questions to older, more experienced workers to help in their career paths.
Schwartz is responsible for negotiating contracts with other companies. The Nets have 12 founding, or premium, partnerships, including JetBlue, American Express, MetroPCS and a 20-year agreement with Barclays for the naming rights of the arena.
The students enjoyed the visit and were impressed by the office and its culture.
“Each speaker was proof that their employees are motivated self-starters and effective team members who are able to get the job done. That struck me as something special,” Frank Doyle, BS ’17, said.
“The biggest takeaway message was that just because you end up working in one department or industry doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily stuck there,” said Kevin O’Sullivan, BS ’18. “There’s always room to grow and for your dreams to change. Don’t get too hung up on taking one particular job just because it’s not exactly what you envisioned yourself doing.”