Claire Kueny joined Protiviti Chicago as a Technology Consultant in 2012 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame. She left Protiviti as a Sr. Technology Consultant in 2015 to pursue her Master’s Degree in Sports Industry Management at Georgetown University. While earning her Master’s, Claire interned for the Washington Wizards in guest services and is now a Dream Foundation Intern with the Washington Nationals. Connect with Claire on LinkedIn.
How did you get started at Protiviti?
I majored in IT management and after graduation, a few friends working for Protiviti recommended it to me. I had heard such wonderful things about Protiviti and after meeting with people in the Chicago office, I knew it would be a great fit.
What made you transition to sports management?
My interest in sports started at a young age. And then when I was in college, I was a manager for the Notre Dame Football team and that’s where I got the behind-the-scenes view into what working for a sports organization would be like. I decided I wanted to get back into that, so I made the career change to go back to school and get my foot in the door for internships. My Protiviti experience really gave me confidence in knowing I can do good work and go elsewhere.
What’s unique about studying sports management?
What’s really cool is that all professors are working professionals. There’s no tenured professors, so what you’re learning is very current. There are two tracks in the program: marketing or business operations. I am doing the business operations side focusing more on the finance and economics of sports. But there’s a number of different routes people can take after graduating: broadcast rights and streaming, operations – the numbers and drafting and all that – marketing, etc.
How do you think your background as a consultant has helped you?
My last position was in guest services for the Washington Wizards. I had to build relationships with season ticketholders and make sure they were happy. I already had developed that client-first mindset from my time at Protiviti, so that really gave me an advantage.
What is the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation?
Every baseball team is required to have a non-profit organization. At the Nationals Dream Foundation, we raise funds to benefit kids in the DC area. Our major fundraising event is our yearly Dream Gala with live and silent auctions. The gala supports all of our initiatives and takes a lot of planning and work to coordinate the event and line up sponsors. We’re just starting to reach out to vendors and sponsors for this year’s event in June.
What are the organization’s initiatives?
Our major initiative is our Youth Baseball Academy. It’s a program for kids in the roughest areas in DC that provides after-school tutoring and training in baseball. Baseball in the inner city has been struggling in recent years, so we’re trying to revive that interest. The next phase of our program will be to refurbish old fields and build new ones around DC. We’re very committed to working with local neighborhoods, so we also provide grants to different local organizations every year.
Having worked in different aspects of professional sports, which direction do you think you’ll go when you graduate later this year?
I’m still learning, but I really like the non-profit work so far. It’s great being able to work in sports and with kids, so community relations is ideal for me right now.
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