Sports Inside Ticket Sales

Jacob Donfris headshot
Jacob Donfris
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Jacob Donfris connected with an Applied Humanities alumni to gain experience in inside sales in the sports industry.

How did you get your internship? 

I got my internship with the Tucson Sugar Skulls through networking with Applied Humanities program alumni. First, I received an email about the upcoming career fair from the PAH Internship Team, Stephanie Springer and Brittney Crawford, addressed to all Applied Humanities students. The email included a bio of alumni Nic Griffin and described the work he did with the Tucson Sugar Skulls. I thought from the email that he was attending the career fair, so I messaged him on Linkedin just to introduce myself before the event. It turns out I totally misread the email because he wasn’t going to be a representative at the career fair, but he was open to meeting with me.

Once he responded, I asked if we could do a 10-15 minute call to learn more about what he does. We scheduled the meeting and hit it off right away and ended up talking for almost an hour. At some point in the call he mentioned the possibility of an internship, so I asked if they were still hiring and luckily enough they were! I ended up doing another interview with his boss and was offered an internship. I definitely consider myself lucky, but I also recognize that I took action to put myself in a position to find luck.

Why did you choose this internship? 

I chose this internship with the Tucson Sugar Skulls for a couple different reasons. The primary reason was because I really needed an internship to fulfill my Applied Humanities degree requirements. I completed an internship my sophomore year, but it didn’t count for my major so I still needed to complete one to graduate. Another reason for choosing this internship was how important it is for me to be passionate about my career. This internship opportunity really stood out to me as a way to combine two of my passions: sports and business. 

What did you find challenging about your internship?

The most challenging part of my internship was trying to find the balance between being a student, interviewing for jobs post graduation, completing my internship hours, and having a social life. I think one of the biggest skills I’ve gained from this experience is time management and this experience really put it to test. Trying to juggle all of these things on top of showing up to my internship at the Sugar Skulls with a great attitude and mindset everyday was important to me, especially when doing sales. The biggest lesson I learned in this challenge was to not only manage my time but make the most of it. 

If you worked on a big project, describe it.

I had the opportunity to work alongside Nic Griffin, Director of Ticket Operations, at the Tucson Sugar Skulls and PAH Internship Director Stephanie Springer to put together a College of Humanities Night with the Tucson Sugar Skulls. This was a very rewarding experience to wrap up my internship with the team. We offered a group ticket promotion to College of Humanities faculty, staff, and students for the game on April 27th with a theme of “College Night.” It was cool to get to work on this project alongside Nic and Stephanie as I got to help coordinate the event alongside them. I also got to see the ins and outs of how a themed sporting event like this gets produced from the idea stage to its execution. 

How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future? 

This internship experience at the Tucson Sugar Skulls greatly influenced my plans for the future. It not only impacted my future plans by furthering my desire to work in sports but also helped me bolster my resume with more work experience. I had never really done sales before I started this internship, but now I can confidently say that a career in sports sales post grad is the route I’d like to pursue. Doing inside sales with the Sugar Skulls taught me so many skills that I will be taking with me to my next chapter. How to overcome objections, be confident, how to deal with people, how to network and communicate well, these are just some of the many skills I learned in my journey. After graduation, I accepted a job offer to continue inside sales at the Orange Bowl in South Florida and I couldn’t have done it without this internship. 

What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship? 

My advice for other students when searching for their internship would be to put yourself in positions to get lucky. What I mean by this is that it’s very important to have a good resume, have a good reputation, and be a good student and person. It’s so important to be open to a bunch of opportunities when applying to these internships, I never would’ve guessed at the beginning of my internship search that I would be working at the Tucson Sugar Skulls. Most people that I’ve networked with in the past have mentioned how they got lucky in some way to land an opportunity. These people may have been humble, but they also put themselves in a good position to find luck because of their initiative and the positive reputation they maintained with people in their network.