Major League Baseball Players Association Licensing Manager Paul Zickler (SMBA ’12) visited the Sports MBA students this Monday, August 3 to discuss his path from SDSU’s campus to working for one the most powerful labor unions in the United States.
A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Paul came to the SMBA program after eight years working in sales in a non-sports capacity. An avid Vancouver Canucks fan, Paul knew that his dream job and ultimate goal was to work as the COO of the NHL. While at State, Paul interned with Upper Deck, using every opportunity at his internship to work toward his ultimate goal. That year, the Canucks appeared in the Stanley Cup Final, and since he was a local, Paul was sent to work for Upper Deck during the series, at which he was able to connect with executives from the NHL.
A main theme of Paul’s talk was the importance of having the confidence to speak with higher-ups. From taking on management’s extra projects to asking for advice and guidance, Paul was able to turn his internships with the NHL and MLS into his current job at the MLBPA.
Paul also suggested two books that helped him on his career path- “How to Become a Rainmaker” by Jeffrey Fox, and “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.
For those looking to get into the sports industry, Paul is an excellent example of what is required. As he mentioned through his time with SMBA ’16, “You cannot simply wish your way into your dream job- you have to prove your value through hard work, and keep yourself on track with goal setting.” Thanks to Paul, our class can certainly hope to be successful in the future and well on our way to our dream jobs at this time next year.
-Anthony Simonetti (SMBA ’16)