Name: Emily Jakimowicz
Current Position: Assistant Director of Marketing – University of Pennsylvania
Number of Years in Current Position: 3.5 years
Conference: Ivy League
Alma Mater(s): Temple University (BBA, 2015)
Twitter Handle: @EE_Jakimowicz
LinkedIn Address: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilyjakimowicz
When/why did you decide to pursue a career in college athletics?
Thinking back, I always knew that I wanted a career in athletics. I had the opportunity to take a Sports Marketing class my senior year of high school, and was immediately hooked. I spent two summer’s in college working for two separate Minor League Baseball teams. But it wasn’t until my senior year of college, that I started as a marketing work study for Temple Athletics. A friend, who had previously worked in the department, mentioned that there was a work study opening that I would love. Spoiler alert – she was right. I found myself mesmerized by all of the excitement, unpredictability, and creativity college athletics had to offer; and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is one thing that has surprised you about working in this profession?
So far, one thing that has surprised me about working in athletics is how quickly the seasons go by and how much change can happen in a short amount of time. Somedays, I really can’t believe that I’ve been here for almost 4 years…I still feel like I just started yesterday.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I think anyone in this industry can attest that we often get caught up in our day-to-day pressures of the job. The best advice I’ve received is being reminded to take a step back and appreciate where you are. Not many people get to do what we do, so it’s important to take a moment and be grateful for the opportunities this job provides.
Who is your role model in this industry and why?
Denise Fitzpatrick, hands down. Denise is not only my current supervisor, but was also my work study supervisor while at Temple. And I can honestly say this answer hasn’t changed in the 5 years I’ve known her. She is one of the best teachers someone could ask for in this industry and her level of passion only makes you want to work harder. I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with her again here at Penn.
What are your career aspirations?
Overall, I’d just like to continue advancing in a marketing or creative services role; eventually leading my own department one day.
What has been your most memorable moment on the job?
My most memorable moment actually came just a few months ago. On December 11th, 2018, our men’s basketball team played the reigning National Champion, Villanova Wildcats at home in the Historic Palestra. Coming into this game, Villanova had a 25 game win streak in the Big 5 and hadn’t lost to Penn in 16 years – ouch.
But something felt different about this night, especially coming off a win against Miami just a week earlier. Of course no one would actually say it, but everyone just had this feeling – “we were going to beat Nova” – and boy, were we right.
In the final seconds, Villanova’s last shot hit the rim and pandemonium ensued. That was it – the excitement that made me fall in love with college athletics was right at my feet. Everything about that game was perfect – from the game itself and to everything in between.
Every game we play a video feature called “Great Moments in Quaker History.” That night, one of our players was quoted saying “You know that time-out feature they do, Great Moments in Quaker History? Yo, tonight's game will probably be up there someday. I bet like 10 years from now they'll be talking about this night."
I can promise it will happen sooner.
Share one funny moment or story from game day.
I was working a Temple Football game in college. I don’t remember exactly what point in the game we were at, but I was prepping for the next promotion and my back was to the field. Next thing I knew, I was being tackled by Temple’s starting quarterback. He bear-hugged me so I wouldn’t hit the ground and we ended up 4 or 5 yards into the sideline. It was the most awkward and hysterical moment and I guarantee there’s a video of it somewhere.
If you weren’t working in college athletics, what would you be doing?
If you had asked me this question 5 years ago – before I started working in college athletics – I would probably tell you that I would be working in Minor League Baseball, or even the MLB. However, knowing what I do now, I would probably be working in some type of design field – either graphic design or even interior design.
Supervisor quote on YP of the Month:
“We are tremendously proud of Emily for earning NACMA YP of the Month. No one is more deserving than her. Emily has been the backbone of the athletic marketing department throughout the past three and a half years. She has handled changes in leadership with ease. I am extremely proud of her recent role in rebuilding the department’s brand and fan engagement strategies. She is a rising star in this industry. I am extremely excited to see where this field takes her and am honored to play a small part in her success.” – Denise Fitzpatrick, Assistant Athletic Director, Marketing and Fan Engagement