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Kelsey Bliss ’17: merging her major with her passion

Thanks to her Elon experience, marketing major Kelsey Bliss ’17 had the chance to work with the New England Patriots at the Super Bowl

Kelsey Bliss ’17 celebrates the Patriots' AFC Championship win

By Oliver Fischer ’19 

Kelsey Bliss graduated from Elon in May 2017 as a marketing major with no formal background in sports, but with a passion for the New England Patriots. Two weeks after graduation, she started working as a marketing administrative assistant for Kraft Sports & Entertainment, a division of The Kraft Group that provides operational support and services across all of the sporting and event entities owned and operated by the Kraft family, including the Patriots.

“This would have been what I considered my dream job,” Bliss said. 

But before getting there, Bliss had to find ways to present herself to The Kraft Group as a suitable candidate, despite her lack of experience in the sports industry. She submitted her application online, confident she was a good fit for the job. After a series of interviews, Bliss had one final interview in person. That’s when what she had learned during the past four years made a difference. “That really was my time to show how the Elon experience shaped me for the position, especially not having that sports and entertainment background, but how could I apply my marketing major and how can I apply the Elon experiences to a position.”

For that, she relied on a sorority sister, LeeAnna Matarazzo ’15, who helped her match each aspect of the job with an experience she had had at Elon. Without the sports and entertainment background, Bliss relied on pulling out pieces from her classes, study abroad experiences and leadership positions. “It was beneficial for me to take a wide variety of business and communications classes during undergrad instead of narrowing my focus on one department,” she said. 

This prepared her for the job as marketing coordinator, which has exposed her to a variety of projects and departments, including sales, public relations and community relations, and pushed her to learn new skills. After the Kraft Sports & Entertainment group acquired the rights to Boston Uprising, a team in the eSport Overwatch League, Bliss worked on launching the team in the region. “I think that was my greatest experience, seeing how you can take a company with so much experience and our sports entities that were already existing and then starting in a new industry,” she said. “If during the interview you had told me I’d be watching an eSports team, I would have never believed you, but here I am.” 

After the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl, she had the opportunity to go to Minneapolis to work the big event. Although she has worked all the home games throughout the season, the Super Bowl was a completely different experience. “It really takes the whole organization to put on,” she said. “Whether you win or lose, just being at the Super Bowl itself takes so much preparation.” Despite the amount of work required, Bliss said she is grateful for being sent to the Super Bowl and being able to work with a team that she is passionate about. “It was such a unique experience to have my first year and it definitely was exhausting and it’s a lot of work,” she said. “It’s something that you just have to take your time to take it in and remind yourself this is why you work in the industry.”

Bliss said Elon provides a range of resources students can use to get the most out of their college experience to be prepare to take whatever the world throws at you. “Having mentors, even using the Elon Job Network or the Student Professional Development Center and thinking how best you can present yourself, it really doesn’t narrow you down to just your major,” Bliss said. “You really have the opportunity to look into different industries, especially ones you might not have experience in, but know you can be passionate about.”

Keren Rivas,
3/28/2018 5:25 PM