Summer Plans Series: Sander ’14 in a League of His Own

By Rei Ramos ’15
Univ. Communications

Baseball is more than just a simple hobby for Ethan Sander ’14. Starting early with an organized t-ball league at the age of five, his involvement with the sport has continued even into his college years. Now, after scoring a marketing internship with the local Rochester Red Wings, the rising senior has the opportunity to experience his favorite sport on a completely different playing field.

For the last three years, he has served as a heavy hitter on the University’s varsity baseball team. A business major with a marketing focus, Sander was lucky to have found an internship that catered to two of his very different interests, granting a glimpse of the commercial side of baseball. This summer, he will be taking a break from stealing bases on the field and will instead try his hand at selling out the stadium seats, among other duties. Throwing promotions instead of pitches, he works as an intern with the Red Wings’ marketing and sales department, formulating strategies to sell group tickets and ticket packages to the stadium suites and also personally coordinating with minor league athletes during mascot and player appearances for the public.

”I hope to work in baseball for a career and I think interning for the Red Wings is a great start and learning experience for that. The sales aspect of my job is beneficial as I have never really done that before, and that is a very important part of working in the front office of a baseball team,” says Sander. Stepping out of his usual role as an athlete, he is gaining a different experience from this internship by switching his focus from playing the game to selling it through measures like ticket promotions and fan giveaways. According to him, the position has introduced him to the importance of “fan interaction, especially when selecting and explaining to contestants how promotions are run.”

Moving from the dugout to the office for the summer term, Sander has been offered a unique and valuable perspective on baseball.  Involving many of the topics and subjects that he has encountered in his business and marketing classes, this internship has served as a beneficial experiential supplement to his field of study. That’s not to say that working in the less hands-on sector of the sport has dulled his interest. ”Being around baseball and a good group makes everything a lot more enjoyable,” says Sander.

While the rising senior is currently unsure whether his post-grad plans involve the pursuit of a playing career, he foresees a continued involvement in athletics in his future. Sanders says, “I would like to work in sports, especially baseball after graduation but we will have to see what opportunities present themselves.”

This story is part of the Summer Plans Series, a collection of stories about how undergrads at the University of Rochester are spending their summer. Know of someone doing something cool over break? Email The Buzz (thebuzz@rochester.edu) and tell us all about it!

Student Group Promotes Entrepreneurial Ventures On & Off Campus

By Caitlin Mack
Univ. Communications

UR Entrepreneurs is an undergraduate club that promotes the development of new enterprises on campus and the Greater Rochester area.

The S.A. recognized group, which started in 2005, is part of the University of Rochester’s Center for Entrepreneurship and has the support of many community leaders. The group has recently revamped their focus to provide clients with increased technical assistance, such as mobile application development, website design, and research development.

President Jonathan Gonzalez ’14 explains, “the club itself is an entrepreneurial project,” and that being involved has helped him learn how to lead projects, manage money, and think outside of the box.

UR Entrepreneurs is currently working with on-campus nonprofits UR Uganda and New Sudan Aid to increase awareness of each group’s respective social message via marketing, business and website development, and branding. They also are working with Jonny Trade, a start-up online trading company founded by a Simon School student, to help them facilitate online trading.

The group is always looking for new ventures, and would like to become more active in off-campus projects.  Gladys “Gigi” Nickerson ’14, is the group’s venture development officer. She is in charge of developing new projects and identifying entrepreneurial ventures, and acts as a “program manager” to keep track of the group’s current projects. Members are assigned to a committee representing each client to ensure that they are advised in the best way possible.

Other main tools of the group include strategy and capacity-building assistance and marketing campaigns.  Ideally, Gonzalez explains, UR Entrepreneurs will help “firms that have potential for growth and are not achieving that potential, but as a result of working with UR Entrepreneurs will achieve that potential.”

Gonzalez, who plans on a career in “responsible real estate development” for low income families, explains that being a part of UR Entrepreneurs has had real world application. For him, the important aspects have been “exposure to the reality of getting things going” and exploring what “it really takes to have entrepreneurial, leadership acumen. You need to make sure your ideas and input are valuable.”

The group recently merged with UR Consulting, a group established as a functioning consulting firm in 2009 by Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) student, Gemma Sole ’10. The merger made sense to keep UR Consulting sustainable after its founders left and to further empower UR Entrepreneurs with similar project and tools.

According to Gonzalez, UR Entrepreneurs have a wide range of academic majors; the executive board consists of economics, business, and math majors, and the business manager of the group, Phillip Sellstrom ’13, is an environmental science major. Gonzalez explains that the group has enabled students of different academic interests to “gain practical experience in the field of business and insight into how creating value is actually done.”

The group is always looking for new members and recently held a well-attended general interest meeting on Sunday, Sept. 24. In addition, the group is currently in need of an off-campus publicity manager to encourage entrepreneurial ventures in the Greater Rochester area.  The position, separate from the role of on-campus publicity manager, “allows for the best branding and marketing exposure possible,” explains Gonzalez.  Qualifications for this position include web development and web design literacy, an appreciation for media, and creativity. Those interested in the position or interested in learning more about the group should contact Jonathan Gonzalez at jonathanjamesgonzalez@rochester.edu.

In the Photo: UR Entrepreneurs Executive Board (from left to right): Philip Sellstrom ’13, Business Manager; Danny Sarmiento ’14, UR Consulting Executive Director; Daniel Wei ’15, Secretary; Jonathan Gonzalez ’15, President; Gladys Nickerson ’14, Venture Development Officer; Lin Zhang ’14, On-Campus Publicity Director.