SJR State

SJR State Press Release

SJR State business students score advice, insight from Jaguars execs

group of students Students from St. Johns River State College recently scored a new perspective on business and marketing practices when professors brought them out of the classroom and into the boardroom of one of Northeast Florida's most comprehensive business organizations - the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jaguars Chief Financial Officer Bill Prescott and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Macky Weaver gave students a personal glimpse into the business side of football - from the day-to-day operations to the logistics behind making each game day a success.

SJR State professor Ryan Parris said on-site tours are crucial in providing students with a better understanding of business concepts that, up until now, have only been studied in class. "It gives students a greater understanding to see all the aspects of business working cohesively together - from budgeting and revenue streams to building partnerships and working with volunteers," Parris said. "It's where classroom learning and the real-world meet head on and provide students with a new synthesis of knowledge."

The trip to EverBank Field was a first of its kind for SJR State faculty and St. Johns and Clay County students. "We wanted to inspire our students to set their goals high and give them a new perspective on what they can achieve with a business degree. We wanted them to leave saying, 'This is something I can do,'" Parris said.

Jaguars sales executive and SJR State alumnus Theresa Smith said the field trip was significant for both SJR State and the organization. "It is important to the Jaguars that we open the eyes of the next generation of regional leaders - recognizing the economic impact of this organization," Smith said. "With education, not only do we create fans, but also champions for our team."

Student Terrence Regan, who aspires to work for a professional franchise, said the most important aspect of the tour was meeting with the high-profile representatives and listening to their expertise. "I was intrigued by how many day-to-day duties go on behind the scenes and how many people they employ," Regan said. "It's not just all the glitz and glamour of the actual games on Sunday."

Regan also gained a better understanding of how to "break into the field." "It's a demanding industry that's very competitive; so taking any internship to get your foot in the door is the best way to make a good impression on your future employer," he said.

Kyle Ott said he did not realize the amount of planning and coordinating required between departments and business partners in making the organization run productively. "It was fantastic to see the framework and layout of how the Jaguars manage their daily and yearly routines right in front of us," Ott said.

Student Alex Armbruster said he thought it was insightful for business students to visit an organization that typically isn't associated with business careers. "Not many people are able to get an inside look at the business aspect of a professional sports team," Armbruster said, adding he now has a better understanding of the amount of planning involved between the separate departments and entities of the organization.

Phillip Scarnecchia said the field trip was an eye opener. "There are so many details that come into play to have an organization, from head to toe, in sync," he said. The Clay County student also realized the role internships can play when trying to gain that competitive edge. "I am truly grateful for the opportunity to meet the staff members and hear their tips on things to do while in college to set one's self up for success," he said. "In today's market, it is very important to have a college education along with the ability to network. In other words, a college education is key to getting the job opportunities you want; but, constantly meeting employers and staff members gives you an advantage."

For Amy Hampton, the trip was more about meeting the team members she doesn't see on TV - the office team. "From the strict policies on deliveries to the screening process of the more than 3,000 workers that enter the stadium, the internal control of each department is virtually flawless and performed with absolute precision," Hampton said. However, Hampton said she was most impressed with learning about the organization's involvement in the community and the significance the Jaguars bring to the local economy.

Hampton said that adding to the experience and excitement of the trip was that it was also a game day, but not just any game day - Monday Night Football. The students stayed on site to watch the Jaguars defeat the Baltimore Ravens. Hampton said she walked away from the game with more than bragging rights. "I realized that the success of the team that I love so much is more than just the performance of the football players, it's the dedication and hard work of the entire organization," she said.

St. Johns River State College was established in 1958 as a public institution serving Putnam, Clay and St. Johns counties. SJR State serves approximately 11,000 students and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of St. Johns River State College.

student and jags

Students enrolled in St. Johns River State College's business programs toured EverBank Field and met with Jaguar execs Bill Prescott (front left) and Macky Weaver (right) during a recent field trip. SJR State students got an inside look into the operations of the business side of football.

Susan Kessler
SJR State Director of Public Relations and Publications
5001 St. Johns Avenue
Palatka, FL 32177
(386) 312-4020