Ithaca College Will Make You Ready
With a vibrant community, professors who inspire, and the hands-on experience you need to dive into your field with confidence.
Drew Steedman ’13 grew up near Boston loving to play sports (he was recruited by Ithaca College to play soccer) and loving to watch them (especially the Celtics and Bruins). As a business administration major, Drew decided to explore the business side of athletics. A paid internship with Fenway Sports Management—marketing firm for the Boston Red Sox—showed him what his future could hold.
“That experience showed me that I’d enjoy working in the sports industry,” he said. “Also, I made contacts that led to other internships.”
One was with Kraft Sports Group. The other was what Drew called “the jackpot”—a paid, semester-long stint at MSG Sports, promoter of the New York Knicks and Rangers.
“It took me to Madison Square Garden—the World’s Most Famous Arena,” Drew said. “The big lesson learned? If you want to set yourself apart in sports promotion, New York City is the place to go.”
The road to the Big Apple started with IC’s New York City Internship Program (ICNYC). In addition to a six-credit internship in New York, Drew enrolled for six course credits and worked with the business school to find the right internship.
“MSG was very competitive, but the president was friends with the president of FSM. That got me an interview, and the interview got me the job. I reported directly to the president.” Who was, Drew said, very high energy.
“Some days I’d work on a research project, some days e-mailing story clips, other days getting ready for that night’s game. It was go, go, go, and to my surprise, I liked it. It was like sports. Whatever comes your way, you have to know you can handle it.”
Being a Celtics fan working the Knicks sideline was the biggest challenge. “I had to put my loyalties on hold and focus on why I was there. Sports have a major impact on people. My favorite thing was taking clients courtside and seeing the thrill kids and parents got when a Knicks player signed a pregame autograph.”
Drew also sees how his semester at MSG will impact his career.
“I’m ready to tell interviewers, whatever that first job throws my way, I’ve already experienced it at The Garden.”
>> More on this story: ICNYC
Brian Diller had questions and knew where to get answers.
“How can I conduct better? How can I listen better? What am I not even hearing yet? What is the next level for me? It’s those kinds of deeper questions that I went back to school for,” he says. “Ithaca was the place to ask those higher-level questions.”
Brian conducted a high school band for three years after he received his undergraduate degree. During that time he developed as a teacher, learned how to delve into problems, and gained insights into conducting and music. But as those questions emerged, he knew it was time to pursue his graduate degree.
And for help finding the answers he was looking for, Brian had one person in mind: Ithaca College professor Steve Peterson. Brian was aware of Steve’s reputation as a conductor and teacher already. His first chance to meet and work with the renowned instructor came during a weeklong summer workshop that Steve hosts at Ithaca College every year. “It really opened my eyes to a lot of new things about music, teaching, conducting, and everything I wanted to be as a musician,” Brian says.
Brian applied for and was accepted into the graduate program two years later, its small size allowed for plenty of class, practice, and consultation time with professors, as well as continuous opportunities to conduct pieces with the various groups in the School of Music. Brian considers the time spent with the ensembles incredibly meaningful, especially the capstone to the program—the master’s recital.
“Steve gave the wind ensemble to us graduate students for three weeks to do a whole program. We did all the rehearsing, all the planning.” In addition, one of IC’s cello professors performed a solo during the program. “It was a great opportunity to collaborate with the faculty and have a soloist with the group,” Brian says.
Shortly after earning his master’s, Brian was named to a one-year position as an associate lecturer of music at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. He’s exploring doctoral programs in music as well. And though he’d love to continue teaching at a college level, he says he’d be perfectly happy to return to the high school level—now that he has those deep questions answered and is equipped with the skillset to answer new ones on his own.
“Professors at Ithaca College weren’t teaching us [graduate students] so much as they were guiding us in our own research and giving us the tools to search for our own answers. And it was done in a really meaningful and effective way by the entire faculty,” Brian says.
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