Mount Union Student Lands Job with Cleveland Indians

April 10, 2010

Many soon to be graduating seniors are scanning the classified sections of newspapers and calling all of their contacts in hopes of finding a job.  One Mount Union senior is ahead of the bleak job market with no worries about what the future has in store. Andy Cottle, a senior sport business major from Seven Hills, OH was recently offered a full-time position with the Cleveland Indians as a season ticket sales associate.

It was a combination of formal preparations in his sport business classes and networking that put him in contact with Susie Downey, the director of training and recruitment for the Cleveland Indians. “Susie has come to Mount Union to speak in my sport business classes several times since my freshman year,” Cottle explained. “At the end of last semester in the careers in sport business class here at Mount Union, Dr. Kadlecek had six industry professionals come in and conduct mock interviews, and Susie was one of interviewers.”

Downey must have been extremely impressed with Cottle, because at the end of the mock interview she encouraged him to apply for the actual position with the Cleveland Indians. Cottle did apply for the position and was hired months before graduation.

Cottle was interning at the National Sports Forum in Baltimore, MD when he got the call. Mike Mulhall, senior director of tickets and premium sales for the Cleveland Indians was at the forum. “I had spoken with Mike several times throughout the conference about the position, but he was really busy and didn’t have much time to talk to me. I figured I didn’t get the job and I was bummed out,” Cottle confessed. “In the meantime, Nick Arndt (season ticket sales manager) had called me a few times and left a message on my phone while I was out. When I got back to the room, I called Nick, he offered me the position, and I accepted. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratification. I felt like the hard work I had done in class and all my experiences finally paid off, and I hadn’t even graduated yet. I was speechless.”

Cottle has served as a box office intern with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, interned at the National Sports Forum and was a part of the night sales staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also sold tickets for the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers through a sales course. Also, on campus he served as a sports information assistant and as director of registration for Run-A-MUC.

Ultimately, Cottle’s connections here at Mount Union have been the most beneficial in the shaping of his future. Dr. Jim Kadlecek, associate professor of human performance and sport business and chair of the Department of Human Performance and Sport Business and Dr. James Thoma, professor of human performance and sport business and associate dean of the College have influenced Cottle in many ways.

“They have taught me how to work hard and strive for perfection,” said Cottle. “Both Dr. Kadlecek and Dr. Thoma encouraged me to apply for the position because they were confident I could handle the heavy work load of four classes and a nine-to-five job.” Cottle also said Mark McConnell, instructor of economics, accounting and business administration and Lenny Reich, director of sports information had a big influence on him as well. “Mark has always encouraged me to pursue a career in sport sales,” added Cottle. “I am so lucky to have had such a fantastic support group here at Mount.”

Cottle credits his mother for keeping him grounded. “She is all over me about graduating and making sure that when I come home from work I know that I am still a student,” noted Cottle. “She is always telling me how foolish it would be to work so hard for three and a half years and not graduate on time.”

With the support from Mount Union and his family, Cottle is grateful for his job and shares some of his own advice with other students.

“I would say first you need to be involved in everything you can be,” he said. “Groups like the Sport Business Association and American Marketing Association are a great way to get involved and stay involved.

“When there is a guest speaker in your class, dress up, ask questions and handwrite a thank you card,” he said. “Developing a good work habit is also key, especially in sales. The person who is willing to work harder and do all the small things right is the one who will succeed.”

One thing is certain – Andy Cottle knows he has a bright future awaiting him, even before his diploma is in his hands.

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