• Ashley Torkornoo

Mount Graduate Makes the Big Leagues

Some people dream of becoming professional athletes or sports commentators. When people have dreams that big, they can seem out of reach. For one Mount student, her dream job in sports media has become a reality. Rebecca McDermott (C’20) landed her dream internship last summer with the major league soccer team the Philadelphia Union.

McDermott graduated with a degree in communication with a concentration in journalism. She was a writer for The Mountain Echo and a star student who made the Dean’s list several times. After graduation, she decided to further her education with the Mount’s Sports Management Graduate Program. She is currently the Graduate Assistant for the College of Liberal Arts.

During March of this year, McDermott came across the internship opportunity with the Philadelphia Union Youth Program on WorkInSports.com. She applied immediately for the Business Administrator position and later realized that many others applied for that role as well. Approximately 150 candidates were competing for the internship but only three people were selected. McDermott went through two interview processes with the Technical Director, Coach Director and Operational Director. Once she was accepted for the job, she began working for the Philadelphia Union Youth Program in an administrative capacity. She explained, “I was overseeing and planning with different summer camps, clinics and tournaments as well as communicating with coaches and parents. I worked on the administrative and technical side connecting everyone.”

She felt that going into this field of work would be nerve-racking, especially as a woman. Thankfully, her time at the Mount not only prepared her for her internship but helped her visualize a career in the sports industry. McDermott noted, “As a woman, you never really picture yourself in careers like this. The Mount helped me visualize myself in a career in an industry that I thought wasn’t meant for me. The sports industry is very male dominate but I have always had a love for sports.” She knew she had to work very hard and her hard work paid off. After the internship, she was offered a part-time position with the Philadelphia Union where she manages the youth program’s social media.

McDermott credits her communication skills to the practice she has had in interpersonal communication, writing, public speaking and crisis communication. She noted that she had internship experience at the Mount before applying for the Philadelphia Union position, and believes that the work she did for the university prepared her for her work with the professional soccer team. “I wouldn’t be where I am now if I didn’t have my internships and that all started at the Mount,” she exclaimed.

Her advice to undergraduates who aspire to have a career in the sports industry is to not be afraid to take risks. “If you do not get the job the first time do not give up and if you do get opportunities like this one, enjoy it and make the most out of it because you don’t know if that opportunity will come around again.”