Otterbein Students Benefit Tremendously from Blue Jackets’ Affiliation
Posted Oct 01, 2021
By Grace Weidenhamer ’23
Since day one of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 2000-01 inaugural season, Otterbein has had a presence with the team. The Blue Jackets’ first foundation executive director was Otterbein alumna Wendy Bradshaw, a position she held for more than 10 years.
For a decade since then, Otterbein public relations (PR) and journalism students have had the opportunity to experience the world of professional sports through internships in media relations, communications, broadcasting and fundraising. The affiliation has provided the chance for students to obtain real-life experience in the business side of sports.
In addition, dozens of students have had an exciting game-night experience sitting in the press box, speaking with reporters, observing the coach’s press conference, learning about NHL PR, hearing how scoreboard graphics are created, and talking with NHL off-ice officials.
Vice President of Communications and Team Services Todd Sharrock has provided tremendous learning experiences and special access to Otterbein students.
“We’ve had success with Otterbein interns and I know they’ve moved on to positions in sports,” Sharrock said. “It’s a great learning experience and I feel we have a bit of a responsibility to provide students with an opportunity to learn what we do and to help them make decisions as they decide what they want to do with their careers.”
Otterbein communication students who interned with the Blue Jackets are now in positions with the Philadelphia Phillies, OSU athletics, Cleveland sports-talk radio and scores of traditional PR jobs.
“The biggest motivating factor for me is to help students get a taste of what it’s like to work in professional sports, particularly on the communication side,” Sharrock said. “It helps students decide if yes, indeed, this is a career path they want to follow.”
Otterbein has always valued hands-on experiences in the community. For communication students, the Blue Jackets’ affiliation is just one more piece of a student’s education.