Students from Gannon University gained work experience at Super Bowl LIV Sunday. The 12 students returned to campus Tuesday after having left Jan. 28 to work the days leading up to the Super Bowl.
Gannon faculty Eric Brownlee, Ph.D., an associate professor of the Dahlkemper School of Business, and Jinhee Yoo, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the sport management and marketing program, accompanied the students.
It was with the help of these faculty members that the students had the opportunity to be a part of this experience. It was Brownlee’s experience working with the Minnesota Vikings and the National Football League, that aided the university in the application process, Brownlee said.
Last year, Gannon students first gained the chance to send students to work the Super Bowl. This year, Gannon is one of 30 universities to participate in this experience. In addition, Gannon is the only school from the region present.
To be a part of this experience, students went through an interview process, Brownlee said. Each student also funded the trip on his or her own.
Once arriving in Miami, the students got straight to work, beginning with spending three days working at the NFL House, said Norella Roche, one of the students selected to go on the trip and a sport management and marketing major.
“We helped with things like Access Control, Way-finding, a pop-up NFL Shop and working a concierge desk,” Roche said. “We rotated locations to keep things fresh and interesting. All of our shifts were all from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., so that was very important.”
On Sunday, the students worked at the Super Bowl, she said.
The trip wasn’t all work for the students, though, Timo Klingler, a recent Gannon graduate from the international management program, said. Before starting work at the NFL House, they had to pick up their credentials and gear. There were some more fun experiences built into the week as well.
“We also did some other trips,” Klingler said. “For example, we went to the Convention Center to see the NFL Experience, we went to a Miami Heat game and we went to a sports conference at the University of Miami.”
All of these experiences left students on the trip with a lot to reflect on.
“It was interesting to see how many people are actually involved with an event this big and how many different events there are leading up to the Super Bowl,” Courtney Brumagin, a senior sports management and marketing major, said.
Beyond seeing the Super Bowl from a different angle, students got the chance to make many connections for their careers outside of Gannon, Roche said. On the trip, they had the chance to meet many people in the sports industry.
“This opportunity has improved my future in the industry in so many different ways,” she said. “This is a huge resume builder and working this event I have been able to make a lot of professional connections as well. I would feel lucky like to one day work in the Super Bowl planning committee field.”
The students on the trip all put in a lot of hard work, but it was worth it, Brumagin said.
“It was such a great experience and I am extremely grateful to have experienced it.”