Sean Caldwell knows exactly what it means to work up a professional ladder. As a member of game day operations and live programming and entertainment with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans, Caldwell says he “never would have gotten the interview at the Pelicans had I not been willing to accept part-time work in my field and build my résumé.” Originally from Marstons Mills, Mass., Caldwell’s now coordinating time out and half time entertainment for all Pelicans games, and organizing pre-game, game-time and post-game events – and more!
What it like working with a professional sports team?
It’s always been my goal. I love the excitement and the fast-paced environment. I’m close to all the action, and the atmosphere and energy are incredible. Every day offers new and different challenges. I love needing to be on top of my game every second.
How did you pursue and land this job?
I had been working part time in stadium operations at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and doing some freelance sports announcing for Braintree Community Access Media. New Orleans was a great opportunity to live outside of New England and experience working in a completely different environment. I applied for the position along with more than 850 applicants and was selected for one of six positions.
For the viewers and game goers, it’s all about entertainment. As a professional, what are you gaining from this experience?
Working in game operations has exposed me to the varied facets of a professional sports franchise’s game day operations. I am learning valuable skills and knowledge, and I’m gaining a relevant and meaningful experience. My education from Saint Joseph’s provided me with a working knowledge of sports management from an operational perspective. It gave me the skills, competence and confidence that are needed to be successful in professional sports.
What have you learned from your job that you didn’t know before?
So much preparation, effort and detail go into putting on an NBA game. Every department works collaboratively and is always in communication. I’ve also had experience with sports marketing, grassroots marketing, event planning and facilities management. Networking, effective communication, collaboration and attention to detail are all skills that were major areas of focus in the sports management program at Saint Joseph’s. In addition to what I’ve learned in the classroom, the internships were an extremely valuable part of my education.
What tips would you give current students?
Stay faithful and stay patient! I strongly recommend taking advantage of internship opportunities, and never stop making connections and building relationships. Once your foot is in the door, always be willing to go the extra mile and maximize every opportunity. No opportunity in your field is too small. For example, I never would have gotten the interview at the Pelicans had I not been willing to accept part-time work in my field and build my résumé.