With championship sports teams in their back yard and well connected faculty mentors and alumni on their side, Dominican University of California students are well positioned for coveted internships and careers in the big league.
During the summer of 2017 Kara New ’18 and Lizette Cabrera ’17 interned with the San Francisco Giants along with Brian Sanchez ’13, who earned his master's degree in Sports Management at the University of San Francisco in 2018.
“Being in the Bay Area and having connections with the teams has been really beneficial,” says Kara, then a productions assistant with the Giants who is majored in Communication and Media Studies. “I have been able to experience real-life situations and have hands-on experiences that are preparing me for my career.”
At Dominican, hands-on mentoring starts in the classroom where, for example, Hall of Fame announcer Barry Tompkins, a four-time Emmy Award winner, taught a sports broadcasting class.
“Barry gave me the most honest advice that I will cherish forever,” says Lizette, who is now a video board crew member for the Los Angeles Angels and also a video production and tech assistant with the L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Galaxy and Anaheim Ducks. “He said to always be hungry, meaning never be afraid to ask questions, always crave more from your experiences, and most importantly never be afraid to fight for what you want.”
Both Tompkins and Brad Van Alstyne, former chair of Communication and Media Studies, opened a window of possibilities and opportunities for students that builds confidence and connections.
“Without Barry I would not have been giving this opportunity to work for such an amazing organization as the Giants,” Lizette says.
Van Alstyne teaches students to be dynamic and to present themselves well – skills that prepare them to succeed beyond the classroom, notes Brian, who worked in the Giant’s Partnerships and Business Development Department.
Brian recalls an insiders’ visit with Tompkins and classmates to AT&T Park as being a game changer.
“The fire was officially fed within me and it made earning a role with the Giants a career goal.”
Tompkins has lent his nearly 50 years of experience in the media to groom students for future employment. Katy Batchelder ’13 was one of his first pupils at Dominican. Her internship with the Giants evolved into her becoming a full-time and Emmy award-winning producer for San Francisco Giants Productions. Katy, now a Video Producer/SMB Marketing for Salesforce in San Francisco, was instrumental in helping Lizette get her internship.
“The Giants' internship is not an easy one to get. They have hundreds of applications every year, so I'm really proud of our students getting them,” Tompkins says. “I think that Brad and I really tried to prepare them on how to interview for a gig like that. I do believe that gives our students an edge.”
Building toward that edge begins at Dominican, putting students on a path to pursuing dream jobs.
“At Dominican I tried to stick my hands in as many pots as possible. This helped me become more dynamic and willing to do tasks that may not have been a part of my role’s description,” says Brian, now a Senior Account Executive for 160over90. “A lot of that was from the combination of being at a small school, which still offers a large amount of offerings in different segments of the communications industry and I may have never been as broadly taught as I was at another school.”