Student Spotlight: Zach Sansavera

Zach Sansavera

Sport Management major Zach Sansavera spent his summer as a Brands Retainer Intern in the Marketing Division at Wasserman, a sport and entertainment consulting agency. An active guy who lives and breathes sports on campus, Sansavera is a member of the Sport Management Club, an Ambassador for the College of Natural Resources as the Co-Coordinator, and a Facilities Supervisor for University Recreation. His recent internship with Wasserman was supported by the Ron and Dale Terry Student Assistance and Enrichment Fund.

How did this experience impact you?

This experience had a massive impact on me because it not only tested my knowledge and forced me to grow as a professional, but helped me figure out where I want my career path to go.

How has this experience prepared you for your future career?

This experience helped me gain the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in agency sport sponsorship. I learned much of what I’ll need to know about how the industry functions, how contracts work, how to develop sponsorship proposals, and what my best path would be to make it in this field.

How did this opportunity enhance your experience as a College of Natural Resources (CNR) student?

This opportunity allowed me to take everything I’ve learned in my classes and experiences thus far and apply them to real-world, exciting tasks. It truly felt like a culmination of everything that CNR has given and taught me so far in my academic career. I have come back and shared my experiences and knowledge with younger students as a CNR Ambassador to help them succeed as well.

What did you enjoy most about your experience?

I enjoyed all the people I met throughout the summer. I worked on half a dozen different projects and got to meet a lot of exciting and creative people who taught me a lot. I expected to learn a lot professionally, but I didn’t expect to gain as many true connections to the people at Wasserman as I did.

What did you find most challenging?

One of the most challenging aspects was simply reminding myself to speak up and to not underestimate myself. Most interns were graduate students at Duke or Chapel Hill, so it took me awhile to remind myself that I had as much experience as them and that I could actually perform better at my duties if I continuously put in the effort.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about myself as a professional. I figured out my strengths in a new environment working with people I’ve never met before and it forced me to adapt. I learned that I enjoy being challenged and that I really enjoy the fast-paced nature of high-stakes projects.

Would you recommend this experience to others?

I would highly recommend this experience to any sport management students interested in sponsorship or marketing, especially at the professional sports level. I learned an unbelievable amount and expanded my network ten times over.

Any advice for incoming students?

Incoming students interested in Sport Management should start getting experience early, even if they don’t know what they want to do. Volunteering with anything and everything in sport and recreation early on helped me to narrow down my interests and figure out my own strengths.

Have you completed any other hands-on experiences?

Outside of Wasserman, I was also an intern in marketing and sponsorship for North Carolina Football Club (NCFC), and studied abroad in the French Riviera on a trip that focused on sport and tourism in the summer of 2016. My experience with NCFC allowed me to be very hands-on from the team side of the sport industry. I really felt like I was able to contribute to the growth of a sports brand throughout a local community. My study abroad experience helped provide me with a broader knowledge of the world, both in sports and in general, and forced me to challenge myself in ways that I never would just sitting in Raleigh.

What do you enjoy most about being a CNR student?

I really enjoy the close-knit feel that the college provides. It may sound cliche, but I enjoy really getting to know the professors well and knowing that they care about the students and are always willing to help provide us with opportunities.