Southeast alumna, Alissa Murphy, says her dream job is to one day work in marketing and promotions for the St. Louis Cardinals. Alissa is well on her way to realizing this dream with her new job as the event coordinator for the Oakley-Lindsay Civic Center in Quincy, Ill. Her responsibilities will include planning events such as dances, wedding receptions and vendor shows. Her job also includes working closely with the Quincy Gems, a baseball team in the Central Illinois Collegiate League.
Working with the Gems will not be a first for Alissa. Before graduating with a degree in mass communications in summer 2005, she completed an internship with the Quincy Gems, who were recently declared the 2005 CICL Champions. She worked with corporate sponsors to set up various events for each home game.
Alissa’s responsibilities included lining up who would throw out the first pitch, participate in between-inning games and vocalists to perform the National Anthem and sing, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. She also prepared the press scripts for the announcer to read during games, which included local advertisements and other special requests by corporate sponsors. Alissa says she learned the importance of building relationships between the players and the community, something that is vital in any baseball club.
“I attended several PR events with the players to build positive images and relationships with the community,” Alissa said. “The team was able to thank the community for their support by hosting blood drives and attending summer camps for children.”The Gems are considered one of the top collegiate leagues in the country. To be a part of the team, players must participate in collegiate baseball and must be eligible to play for the upcoming college season. Playing for the Gems during the summer is a way to help sharpen the skills of collegiate baseball players while having a chance to be scouted out by majors.
Alissa says she believes that working with the Gems has been a great way to jumpstart her career.
“I am able to learn and gain valuable experience in baseball and event coordinating around guys my age,” said Alissa. “This will help me build confidence and skills for when I’m ready to move on to the minors and eventually, the majors.”
Alissa says Southeast contributed to her success with the Gems because of the small student to teacher ratio and intimacy of the class sizes in her program. She was able to pull what she learned from her professors and use it on a daily basis, giving her the confidence to complete tasks effectively and efficiently.
Aside from baseball, Alissa loves riding horses. Alissa’s family owns horses in her hometown of Hannibal, Mo., and she and her family often take them for trail rides. In summer 2003, Alissa was a wrangler at Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming. She was responsible for taking care of 70 horses and leading visitors on trail rides at the Lodge.
Alissa says Southeast helped her become more independent and adapt to new environments through the semester abroad program in Australia. In the program she fulfilled educational requirements while meeting interesting people from around the globe. While in Australia, Alissa also had the opportunity to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef, skydive and sleep under the stars in the Outback.
“Traveling to Australia was one of the best experiences of my college career,” Alissa explained.
Her best advice to any student would be to take part in Southeast’s study abroad programs because they are a great way to gain independence and prepare you for life after graduation.