Having had a strong interest in sports from a young age, Kevin Kelley, B.S.B.A `13, took advantage of D.C.’s optimal location and began applying for sport-affiliated internships beginning his sophomore year. In the spring of his junior year, Kelley landed an internship with D.C. United, the District’s professional soccer club.
Kelley still remembers the awe he felt while working for a professional sports organization and his excitement while preparing for the first home match of the season.
“It was my first internship in sports, and I loved every minute of it,” he said.
Working for D.C. United was only the start of Kelley’s career. Today he works as events manager for the Washington Nationals, a position he once described as his “dream job.” Kelley’s primary responsibility is planning events such as conferences, concerts, and trade shows that utilize the stadium on days the team is away or not in season.
When asked about the most rewarding part of working for the Nationals, Kelley reflected on the team winning the 2019 World Series.
“You only have so many years there. Being in D.C. is a big advantage of the University in terms of getting experience because everyone is looking for interns."
“The Nationals were the center of the sports universe for a week or so,” he said.
Remembering how hard he worked to break into the sports industry, Kelley now helps students who want to follow a similar path. He has returned to campus to speak to business classes, helped facilitate tours at the ballpark, and hired CatholicU students as interns.
The Busch School of Business at Catholic University offers a Sports Specialization minor for those interested in sports management, marketing, and finance. While speaking to a sports management class in 2019, he was introduced to Stephen Terenzio, B.S.B.A `19. After rounds of interviews, Terenzio was selected as a ballpark events intern reporting to Kelley.
“Clients and people in the organization really seem to admire [Kevin’s] willingness to go the extra mile to provide a great experience at Nationals Park,” Terenzio said, reflecting on his internship experience.
Terenzio later talked about lessons he acquired from Kelley, such as his profound ability to handle situations no matter the complexity. “I think Kevin's ‘no problem too small’ mentality really taught me a lot on how to approach handling my own work.”
Terenzio also learned from Kelley’s integrity in the workforce.
“I can say that Kevin Kelley is one of the better people that you will meet when working with sports teams,” he said. “He is extremely good at his job, but is also a great person who has taken time to help me out tremendously during my professional career.”
Kelley likes to encourage Catholic University students to take advantage of D.C.'s location. He recommends that students begin networking early in order to build as many connections as possible.
“You only have so many years there,” he said. “Being in D.C. is a big advantage of the University in terms of getting experience because everyone is looking for interns.”