NCA students visit United Center, learn important career lessons

Photo courtesy of Laura Fox The National Communication Association toured the United Center and spoke with John McDonough.

Photo courtesy of Laura Fox
The National Communication Association toured the United Center and spoke with John McDonough.

Laura Fox, Editor-in-Chief


The National Communication Association (NCA) on campus visited the United Center on April 6 to learn about the marketing strategies driving the Chicago Blackhawks.

A total of 12 students attended the field trip, all who are studying for communications degrees.

The club met with Brian Dahm, the marketing manager for the Blackhawks, and received a behind the scenes tour of the United Center that fans do not get to see on game days.

The students had the opportunity to see the press boxes, the scoreboard control room and the organ played by Frank Pellico during games.

The United Center was being transformed for a concert at the time, which allowed the students to hear about the process of taking down and resetting the rink.

The club also had the opportunity to meet and take a photo with John McDonough, the president and CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks.

After the tour concluded, the students sat down with Dahm to hear about his experiences with the Blackhawks and his advice for pursuing a degree in the same field.

“Worry about what you’re doing and do it the best you can every day. That’s a big thing,” Dahm said. “You’re going to have to be organized, you’re going to have to be willing to prepare for the next day. It’s ever changing here and it turns on a dime.”

Dahm also explained the important attributes to develop when working in a position like his.

“The will to work, a [positive] personality and wanting to get better every day,” Dahm said. “That’s in any role.”

Leah Laskowski, a junior public relations/advertising major and member of the NCA club enjoyed the engaging experience of the trip.

“I was overjoyed to hear what accomplishments a communications degree allowed him,” Laskowski said. “The lasting advice I took away from the day would be the importance of a lively and positive attitude.”

Senior organizational communications major Danielle Curtis learned about different career paths with her degree through the experience.

“Meeting with the Blackhawks marketing manager opened my eyes to other marketing possibilities,” Curtis said. “I had never considered working for a sports team before, but I think it is a career I would enjoy.”

Overall, the NCA club enjoyed a valuable experience and learned the importance of working hard in any career field.

“There’s a lot of people who want to work in sports, so if you’re not bringing it every day, if you’re not wanting to get better or come up with another idea or help out your team, they’re going to find someone else who can come in and do it better than you can,” Dahm said. “You’ve got to want to be better than you are right now.”

Laura Fox is a senior double majoring in journalism and public relations/advertising, with a minor in social media. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Flyer. She has her own fashion blog, The Fashionable Fox, and is also Corey Crawford’s biggest fan. She dreams of someday working in community relations for the NHL.

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