Sports management alumni are now colleagues at Madison Square Garden
When Jonathan Di Filippo ’21 started working for Madison Square Garden, which his former teacher calls the “mecca of sports entertainment,” earlier this fall, his new supervisor was a familiar face: fellow former sports management fellow Heather Brereton ’16.
November 11, 2021
For Jonathan Di Filippo ’21, working at Madison Square Garden (MSG), was a dream since he started his freshman year at the University of New Haven. It’s a dream he realized just months after graduating.
Di Filippo, who has a degree in sports management and has always had an interest in sports, started his job as personnel services coordinator for MSG earlier this fall. He is responsible for time reporting, attendance and scheduling of front desk and reception staff members, and is excited to begin his career in the world of sports and entertainment.
“It means everything to me to have this job at MSG,” he said. “After my hard work in the Sports Management program at the University and the internships I did throughout my studies, my hard work is paying off just months after graduating in May. My time as a student has prepared me for my new role because the Sports Management curriculum covers a variety of topics which allow students to learn about different aspects of the industry and develop a plethora of different skills.
Di Filippo is grateful for the support of his professors, including Ceyda Mumcu, Ph.D., chair of the university’s athletic management department, who introduced him to Heather Brereton ’16 at the end of her freshman year. Brereton, personnel services supervisor for MSG, is now Di Filippo’s colleague and supervisor. Their department handles scheduling and payroll for all MSG venues, and they ensure that all operations managers have the staff they need to successfully run every event at their venues.
“It’s exciting to work with a fellow Charger,” Brereton said. “It’s great to see the connections being made and eventually leading to opportunity and growth. Mentoring is so important. When I was an undergrad it was hard to find a mentor in the industry that I could regularly check in with on what was happening in the world of sports and entertainment so if I can be that person for someone , I am more than happy to do so.
“It shows the quality of the sports management program at the University”
Brereton started her own career at MSG as a part-time employee in the customer services department after earning her degree in sports management from the University. She got a full-time position the following year and has since been promoted several times, leading to her current role.
“The fast-paced environment is something I thrive in,” she said. “Every day is completely different, thanks to our calendar of events, which makes every day interesting! My professors at the University did an amazing job preparing us for what the real work experience would be like.
Di Filippo says his experiences inside and outside the classroom prepared him for his role at MSG. A former manager of the Chargers men’s basketball team, he also completed several internships, including one with the Connecticut Sports Management Group.
“I encourage students in the University’s sports management program to pursue their dream jobs in the industry, work hard and strive for more,” he said. -he declares. “It means a lot to me to see other alumni succeed as it shows the quality of the Sports Management program at the University and that the skills we are taught are transferable to positions across the industry. .”