Executives Spotlight stories appeared on this website starting in 2001. Some of the executive's professional experience may have changed since they were published.
Spotlight - January 7, 2008
Client Experience Specialist, Cleveland Cavaliers
The second question for NBA Job Fair candidates is to answer in your application how you possess persistence in the face of obstacles. NBA Teams and many of our clients greatly value the individual who faced huge obstacles and found a path to success in spite of those obstacles. Here's Macrina's story.
Macrina was one of the lucky ones. Or was she?She grew up in a tiny town in upstate New York. She was the oldest of 4. Macrina played soccer, basketball, and ran track. Her high coach convinced her that she could tolerate more pain and she ran cross country. She placed 4th in region in high school and went onto states achieving a medal for her cross country performance. She attracted the eye of many college coaches.
Life seemed great. But life really wasn't what it seemed. Her parents divorced her junior year and her dad moved to southern California. Her mother and her siblings would soon follow, and Macrina was left there in upstate New York, fending for herself. She was fortunate to get into Colgate, Division I, with academic scholarships and grants to get her through.
A champion runner from a tiny rural town gets into Colgate. But it wasn't what it seemed. Instead of partying with her friends following graduation, Macrina had to attend "academic boot camp" at Colgate -- 15 weeks of class crammed into 5 weeks in the summer before her freshman year -- to get her qualified to attend Colgate. Her first philosophy paper wasn't good enough and it was handed back ungraded.
A champion runner from a tiny rural town runs well for Colgate. But it wasn't what she'd hoped. The increased mileage running at Division I schools caused recurring injuries and Macrina had glimpses of a champion's success followed by hours of therapy. Similar to the terrain of a cross country course, Macrina's collegiate running career had its high hills and then woeful valleys.
By senior year, Macrina was elected president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, a kind of spirit committee that drew awareness to all the wonderful athletic programs that students could support at Colgate. Macrina knew she wanted to be in a sports promoter. She applied to the NBA Job Fair.
A collegiate runner, from a great college -- the same one from which Tad Brown, President of the Houston Rockets graduated -- solid grades, President of a student athletic advisory committee. What more could the NBA want out of her? She had to be chosen, right? The result wasn't what she had hoped for.
Her application got passed over. She didn't receive an invitation. But a follow up email caught her eye. She could "petition" to get into the job fair. So, she sat down and spent time writing down why she, Macrina Seals, should be chosen to attend the NBA's prestigious job fair. A few days later, she got accepted by petition!
But it wasn't what she had expected. "I really didn't understand the concept of ticket sales going into the job fair. I became more aware of the job as the job fair went on, and I quickly realized I could do this. I could tell that others who came from sports management programs knew more than I did, but I relied on my cross country training, and convinced the hiring managers that I know what working hard is. I was used to numbers and goals. I was used to working hard. Nothing comes easy, but if you put in the work, the results will be there. I've been there. I've done that. It's not easy grinding your legs up a hill. It's not easy making 100 telephone calls and hearing 'no' most of the time. But you get to the top of the hill and you see the finish line. And that's what I tell myself every day. Get up the hill and it's easy from there.
"I've become much more confident by being in ticket sales. I feel comfortable asking for the order. I feel comfortable talking to a CEO and asking him for $40,000 for floor seats. I couldn't have imagined I'd be able to that. But now I'm confident, and I feel I can have a conversation with anyone and carry myself well. I'm not scared to sell.
"The NBA job fair was ultimately the place that put me in my first job in sports. For me, that was an incredibly important first place to start. I know that the things I've learned here at the Cavaliers will help me in sports and wherever else my career takes me. I had to present myself well and have confidence. It connected me with people who can directly impact my life and my career. The competitive atmosphere puts you in front of people where you will have to prove yourself. I will be forever grateful."
Macrina was one of the lucky ones. And that is what she is.
- Buffy Filippell
"Each time Macrina steps foot into the office she brings with her an energy level that is contagious."
--Michael Behan, Director of Business Development, Cavaliers Operating Company
What I do...
Macrina is responsible for servicing the season ticket holders, building the relationships and renewing the accounts.
HOW I GOT HERE...
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS; Cleveland, OH; 2007 -- present
Client Experience Specialist
Inside Sales Associate
LOURDES CAMP; Skaneateles, NY; summers 2001-2006
GUESS? Retail Store; Valencia, CA; 2006-2007