News - St. Louis Blues Score Big as Job Shadow Hosts

St. Louis Blues Score Big as Job Shadow Hosts

By Carla Morris St. Louis Blues Score Big as Job Shadow Hosts

When the St. Louis Blues take to the ice for the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, at least one fan on the Greenville College campus can say he knows firsthand what it takes for the winning NHL franchise to produce a game.

Trey Adams, a student in Professor Jane Bell’s Operations and Event Management class, shadowed personnel in the Blues organization last semester.

Job shadowing for students is like test-driving a car. The “shadower” traces the steps of workers to learn how their daily routines might translate into one of life’s big-ticket items—a career. A valuable shadowing experience presents opportunities for conversation and hands-on engagement.

What kind of shadow-hosts were the Blues to Trey? Excellent, according to criteria cited by experienced job-shadower Aja Frost in Newsweek. Here’s a snapshot of how the Blues fared on six criteria.

Smart scheduling – Eric Stisser, senior vice president-corporate sponsorship of the Blues, hosted Trey at Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis. The ice arena, centerpiece to a twelve-story glass structure that opened in 1994, seats more than 19,000 spectators. Stisser’s smart scheduling allowed Trey to participate in behind-the-scenes hustle on game day, plus time for Trey to ask questions. He learned about Stisser’s eight seasons as director of corporate sales and marketing with the St. Louis Rams before overseeing a staff of 40 in his current role with the Blues.

Shadow-friendly instructions – Prior to Trey’s arrival, Stisser made arrangements that smoothed the process for Trey. These included securing a parking pass and detailing to Trey what he should do upon arrival. The student also received a tour of the facility that proved helpful later on as spectators filled the building.   

Involve colleagues – Stisser introduced Trey to two members of his team, both involved with corporate relations. As the day progressed, they guided Trey in aspects of their work. He learned about their personal career paths, working for the Blues organization and countless details that comprise “game day” at the Scottrade Center.

Detailed agenda – Clarity instills confidence. In a short meeting with his shadow colleagues early on, Trey received a detailed schedule for the day that included his name assigned to various functions.

Shared work assignments – Trey’s hosts assigned him to tasks that were simple, but valuable. He updated the workroom calendar, conducted the “44-board check” (inventory of sponsors with ads on the rink), and distributed Blues jerseys to 50 special guests. He also helped survey the arrival of fans for “one kid” to have a photo op with Blue’s players—an especially enjoyable task.

Meaningful interaction – Upon invitation, Trey later joined Stisser in Suite 243, the vice presidential suite, to watch the game. They briefly reviewed Trey’s shadow experience and enjoyed conversing with Stisser’s other guests over hamburgers and nachos with cheese and chili.

At the outset, Trey was nervous stepping into the unknown—the operations side of a team valued at $270 million by Forbes. The face-to-face grace extended to him by Stisser and Stisser’s corporate sponsorship team, however, helped dispel those fears and pave the way for learning.

On reflection, Trey said the job shadow experience helped him understand expectations and the work ethic those expectations require. Score, Blues!

Learn more about sports management:

Opening Doors to Opening Day- Brady Bruhn’s GC Story

John Hammond ’76 Voted NBA Executive of the Year

Distinguished Alumnus Dennis Spencer on Media, Faith and the Marketplace

Sport Management Major Overview

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This story was published on April 29, 2016

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