From the Battlefield to the Big Leagues
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve probably thought about what it must be like to hang out at the offices of ESPN or work along the frontlines for an MLB team. For Matt Laux ’15, that dream has become a reality, thanks to the experiences he gained at Gettysburg College.
Laux has taken a life-long love of sports and turned it into a budding career. After graduating from Gettysburg with a degree in organization and management studies, the Bethesda, Maryland, native reached out to several Gettysburg grads within the sports industry for advice. They all shared the same sentiment that networking was the most important aspect of getting into professional sports.
“I took their advice to heart and started reaching out to any and every one within professional sports,” said Laux. “Finally after years of hard work, I got my foot in the door with ESPN.”
The Worldwide Leader in Sports hired Laux for a full-time position as a production assistant. In this role, he supported live programming like Sportscenter by creating highlights and checking for audio and visual errors. It was a fast-paced environment at the epicenter of the sports world and allowed Laux to work with some of the best known sports personalities in the business, including Hannah Storm and John Buccigross.
Ultimately, Laux wanted to return to the Washington D.C. area and soon enough a position as an inside sales representative with the Washington Nationals opened. He jumped at the chance to work with his hometown team again. The previous summer, he helped strengthen the Nationals’ social media presence as their new media intern. As an inside sales representative, Laux helps fill the 41,000-seat Nationals Park by selling season ticket plans, group outings, and suites to fans. An avid Nationals’ fan, Laux relishes the opportunity to maximize the personal experience for other fans.
“Enough cannot be said about working for an organization you believe in,” said Laux. “I was a childhood fan of the Nationals and this passion motivates me every day. Over the years, I’ve had so many great memories with the franchise and it’s my job to provide fans with that same experience.”
Laux attributes much of his early career success to the experiences he gained at Gettysburg. He held two jobs on campus in the Offices of Athletic Communication and Campus Recreation which helped grow his desire to work in sports. In the former position, Laux spent three years serving as the play-by-play broadcaster for football, basketball, and baseball.
“In my opinion, I was lucky enough to have been hired for the two best jobs on the campus of Gettysburg College,” recalled Laux. “For four years, I had a first-hand look at some of the best moments in Gettysburg sports and this truly validated my desire to work in sports.”
Like many Gettysburg students, Laux tried to do as much as he possibly could in his four years. In addition to his campus jobs, he was a student-athlete on the Bullets’ wrestling team. He also served as social and rush chair of his fraternity, Alpha Chi Rho, and he served as a radio host and sports director of the College’s radio station, 91.1 WZBT.
“Being an active member in the Gettysburg community helped me to develop a wide array of skills that translated into the jobs I applied for,” said Laux. “Following graduation, I wasn’t exactly sure which career path was the perfect route for me, but building this foundation of different skills helped me be hired by two of the premiere organizations in sports.”
Laux is currently at work on his master’s degree in sports industry management at Georgetown University. While he maintains his dream of one day becoming a play-by-play broadcaster for the Nationals, his current role with the team has opened his eyes to other opportunities in marketing and sales at the MLB level. No matter which way he turns, Laux knows the time he spent at Gettysburg will help him stand out from among his peers.
“The liberal arts education develops every facet of your life and molds you into an excellent employee immediately after college,” said Laux. “Experience is key to qualifying yourself for any job - especially in sports - and taking advantage of the opportunities at Gettysburg helped get my career off to a strong start.”
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Corey Jewart, associate director of athletic communications, 717.337.6323
Posted: Fri, 1 Jul 2016
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