Senior Alicia Thomas will start her professional career as an account executive in the sales department with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Thomas, an advertising major from Greenville, knew she wanted to work with a professional sports organization and her first choice was the Cavaliers due to their award-winning marketing and sales team.
Thomas said she applied for a temporary position, but the director of inside organizational sales called her and wanted her as a permanent salesperson. After a three-hour interview, the director called her back while she was driving home and told her “it was the fastest decision we’ve ever made.”
“They were my number one and I kind of put all my eggs in one basket hoping that I would get it and lucky enough, I did,” said Thomas.
Thomas began working with the Ferris State University Athletics Department event staff as a freshman. She secured the position before her classes even began nearly five years ago. As a sophomore, Thomas was promoted to athletics producer and has held the position ever since.
Thomas produces all the home football and hockey games for the athletics department. She said her duties include coordinating when the band plays, organizing the national anthem, and feeding information to the P.A. announcer throughout the games. She said she does the little things to keep the game running smoothly.
Last summer, Thomas served as an advertising account intern and helped the athletics department increase its revenue by $65,000. She attributed the acquisition of her new position to the work experience she has had at Ferris.
“If I didn’t have the experience with the athletics department, I wouldn’t have been able to even be considered for the job that I got,” said Thomas.
Ferris Associate Athletics Director Jon Coles said Thomas is more driven and more committed than the average student.
“She is extremely professional and takes great pride in her work,” said Coles. “She takes ownership in what she does and does it very well.”
Thomas said Ferris has given her valuable work experience that is already paying off in her professional career. She said she wants students to realize that a degree from Ferris State University can get you where you want to go right out of college, as long as you work hard.
Thomas said, “Everyone says it’s just a Ferris degree, but they don’t realize that Ferris can really put you where you want to be.”