Alexiss Diaz never imagined she would be working in sales immediately after graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a communications degree, let alone living her dream of working in the sports industry with professional women’s basketball team, the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
Diaz was hesitant to jump into sales, even if it was in sports entertainment.
“I didn’t want to be someone who just took the job just to work it,” she said.
Adjunct Professor Sid Robinson helped change Diaz’s perspective, as he encouraged her to use the opportunity to get her foot in the door.
“If it wasn’t for Professor Robinson telling me I can do anything I set my mind to, I would probably still be looking for a job. I feel like a lot of times, professors see the potential and help push you in the right direction,” said Diaz (2019, communication).
Her risk paid off. Although she began as a Inside Sales Representative with the L.A. Sparks in May 2019, she is now working as a Member Relations Coordinator in the member relations department, where she works one-on-one with season ticket holders.
“The ticket holders are so welcoming. I am really enjoying my time with the Los Angeles Sparks. I am planning events to give back to the community for ticket holders, and it’s incredible to see them all show up and take part in giving back,” Diaz said. The philanthropic events provide ticket holders an opportunity to connect with their community by giving back.
Diaz credits her education in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences for preparing her for a role outside of her comfort zone. After finishing her first season with the L.A. Sparks, she realized how much her courses translated into her work.
“I have been pulling things here and there from my courses. I feel confident in sharing my perspective on how we can cross-collaborate with other departments,” she said.
Although trying something new can feel risky, Diaz advises soon-to-be graduates to not be afraid of taking a leap of faith.
“Don’t be scared of doing something you are not used to,” she said. “At worst, you find out that it isn’t for you, but you might also find something you didn’t even know you would enjoy.”