How Pace University Helped
Juliana Marcolini is a former Pace MCVA student who graduated with a Sports Media Minor. Marcolini furthered her education at Pace, receiving her masters in MCVA and Digital Media.
In graduate school, Juliana was a Graduate Assistant for the athletics department, which entailed doing all the social media for the department and working on graphics, videos, etc along with working home games for all the teams throughout the year. “I did tons of different parts of the job from working the camera during the game, taking photos, taking social media content and posting, Instagram stories, setting up broadcast and whatever was needed for the content creation, so that prepared me for a bunch of different aspects of the media field that I would be able to say I have done before. I did that for a year as an intern my senior year and then 2 years during grad school,” said Marcolini.
The courses she took while completing her undergrad and graduate programs truly made a difference for her going into her career and were truly beneficial (even the ones such as public speaking). Media Ethics is a massive part of the industry, especially social media. You should always be aware of everything that could go wrong in the social media world. Marcolini stated that a lot of what she learned at Pace was accurate once she entered the field professionally. Knowing the different platforms and best practices on each along with other things was helpful when she was interviewing for jobs, and gave her some insight into knowing what she was talking about. The MCVA department covered so much of the industry and a large amount of the jobs Juliana works with every day are reflected in those classes (Production, Camera Work, Lighting, etc).
Understanding the jobs other people do is extremely helpful so you know what they do daily, because all media comes back around to the same circle, and works together. When everyone know their roles and has previous background on other people’s position helps make the team run smoother.
Juliana mentioned, “Not only the classes with Pace, but the connections you can make through alumni, professors, guest speakers etc is extremely important in this industry. Having professors who took the time to know the students and keeping relationships with alumni who have graduated because they were so great is a big part as to why Pace has contributed to my career path.”
During her last year of graduate school, Juliana worked a remote position for a professional Men’s Lacrosse team throughout her fall semester. At the time Pace Sports were canceled for the Fall of 2020. Juliana was a social media intern for the lacrosse team and mainly focused on making content on popular platform, TikTok.
In 2020, TikTok was gaining lots of attention and becoming a mainstream platform during the pandemic, so this played a large aspect of the job in social media. “I would research different trends throughout different genres to see what people were doing and had to figure out a way to bring sports into it and bring my job/team into the trends that may not be sports related but I had to figure out how to do that.”
Marcolini made few videos that went viral by using game footage that was given to her and her team. Her boss/team would reach out to the players for content because it was a remote position and the season had just ended. It also helped that she had background knowledge on the sport because she played lacrosse at Pace all 4 years.
After graduating from grad school, Juliana worked for the Yankees minor league team for a season as a Social Media Fellow from April 2021-October 2021. She ran all the social media accounts while making content on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Marcolini would interview players for TikToks, make highlight clips, work every game, and took photos during the game and would post them on the respected platforms.
“I would work with the players every day and also did some mic’s up segments and whenever we would have Yankees players come down for rehab assignments, I would work with them to cover their workouts and the game they played along with helping with media interviews for the players,” said Juliana.
Her fellowship program was a great way to get into the industry since Juliana wore a lot of hats, completed different jobs, and worked holidays and long hours and weekends. “It was also the best summer ever. I tell everyone to work for a minor league baseball team as an intern if you want to go into sports because you get a ton of experience and can also get a taste of how hard the industry can be and if it is something you really want to pursue. You usually will also have a team of interns and you create good friendships.”
After that summer Marcolini went on and worked for the Pittsburgh Penguins minor league team in the AHL as the Social Media Manager in late October of 2021 – May 2021. Most of it was the same experience except she did not have a ton of people doing the job with her. She made most of the decisions while being overseen by her boss.
Marcolini stated, “I made content plans, I worked with players and had to make scheduled times to do things with them, get permission from people to do things and more people were involved. The more you get into the field, the more the athletes have more people that need to approve things for them. I would work with them every day at practice to get content and took photos to post and then did content with them after practice. Sometimes [she] would mic them during a practice, and then would work every game. The new aspect of this job was I worked away games as well. I did not travel with the team until playoffs, but I would have my own login to watch the games on my computer at home when they were on the road and must post what was happening during the games. These players also would sometimes get called up to the Pittsburgh Penguins so I would cover when that happened as well.”
Following her job with the Penguins, Juliana got a new job working for the Texas Rangers (MLB) as a Social Media Coordinator at the end of May.
“They wanted me there in 3 weeks and I moved halfway across the country and started there in mid-June.”
She worked there from June 2022- April 2023. This job required the responsibilities as her previous ones, but now with players who were of higher profile and a bigger market being in MLB. One of the newer aspects of this job was that Marcolini would work in the press box, covering live footage of each game while communicating with Photo and Video for what they would need and get content as it happened.
Juliana also attended meetings on the marketing side of social media. Here, she and her team would need to post ticket sales, community events, and work with partnerships that were paying money to have their logo on posts as advertising. At those meetings, Marcolini’s team would pitch to their sponsorship team different ideas they could organically coordinate and still maintain their brand.
The Ranger’s Social Media team would post 162 ex- lineup graphics for each game.
“We post these anyway, put a logo on and it can be up to $200,000 for just the season for lineups. Then there is also final score graphics, Questions of the Day with players. Anything with players usually costs more but will get more attention.”
This is why social media is in the marketing department on most sports teams because it brings in lots of revenue through marketing and advertising. Juliana also ran all the social channels on a team of three, along with photo and video services.
“We went out to spring training in Arizona as well to get content for the season that we wouldn’t have time for during the season and worked some of the games while being out there,” said Marcolini.
In April of 2023, Juliana got a job as the Social Media Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). She did opening day with the Rangers and a week later flew to Pittsburgh to work for the Pirates. “I am now doing the same things as I did with the Rangers but on top of it, I now also manage the social media team which includes 5 of us, along with working with our content team with graphic designers, videographers and photographers.”
Currently Juliana makes the schedules for everyone, along with posting a content schedule for each social media platform and who is responsible for what post. Moreover, she is in charge of player content, so she works with the athletes every day and will conduct interviews with them. Juliana plans for social media content some of the athletes may want to do as well. She also manages the Pirates influencer program which involves reaching out to local Pittsburgh social media celebrities, and large scale as well.
“I will contact and send them Pirates apparel, invite them out to games, and handle any celebrity appearances/other athletes that we may have coming to games. I bring them out to games and will give them merch and they post about being there, or we post them being there, and in some cases I can give them the first pitch as an incentive. A lot of them I will bring to meet players, or if players want to meet them, I will work to organize that as well.”
“I have moved around four times within 2 years to get where I am and in this field it common to move around a lot when starting out. Someone once told me, in the sports media world especially ‘You have to be willing to move on to move up.’ This is an extremely competitive field, but it is also one of the most fun jobs you can have. I heard it in school, and I’ve experienced it now as well, but I will say this industry it is a grind. I’ve learned you must love what you do and love who you work with because we spend so much time together and work so much. You have to really want it. I work year-round, more than 40 hours a week, weekends and holidays and don’t get OT pay, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Her best advice is to try different opportunities, take internships and gain experience, and don’t be afraid to take chances.
“Say crazy ideas, try new things, and move on if you have to. If you’re not happy at the job, be willing to take the risk to find another because this is a field you are dedicating a lot of time to this job and you have to get along/like the people you work because they are your family who you will be with 80% of your days.”
Juliana finished with, “This is one of the most fun fields/industries to be in and there are so many opportunities and paths you can take and Pace got me started on seeing those different paths. Make the most of your time there and use all your resources and enjoy it, because Pace is why I am where I am today.
Special Thanks to Juliana Marcolini