Nick Abruzzi has worked in the Parks and Recreation Department in Waltham, Massachusetts for 20 years, and currently serves as its Director. Throughout his career, he has found the following five skills the most important in serving his city's population.
1. Interpersonal Communications
Though digital media has provided a number of great tools for multitasking, Abruzzi notes that confidence in having face-to-face interactions is a must. "You need to be able to work with and sell to a lot of different audiences," he says. In his classes at Lasell, Abruzzi structures assignments to reflect the nature of the work, so the majority of in-class time is spent working together and problem-solving through conversation. "It helps if you are interested in interacting with a variety of personalities," he says.
2. Powerful Presentations
Acquiring grant funding, making pitches to government officials, and gaining community buy-in are all a part of this work, which means that your persuasiveness through effective presentations can make or break your success.
3. Confidence in Financial Management
In every class that Abruzzi teaches, he incorporates assignments that focus on building and managing capital and operational budgets. "You need to understand the difference between how different budgets work, how much revenue you need to bring in, and how to self-support your programs," he says.
4. Creative Energy
The most successful employees that Abruzzi has worked with bring a willingness and flexibility to present and hear ideas. Programming must reflect a variety of age groups and be adaptive to the town or city's socioeconomic composition. The great news, says Abruzzi, is that there is more opportunity than ever before to use that creativity to acquire grant funding and gain buy-in for new programs and facilities. On top of that, it doesn't hurt that a typical entry-level salary can start as high as $70,000.
5. An Inclusive Mindset
Serving entire communities means "allowing full participation [in programs] regardless of disability or cultural background," says Abruzzi. He notes that parks and other municipal offerings are known to create a connection between people, which helps to shape their identity. Understanding how to work with town residents as well as a variety of constituents and needs is a must.
Learn more from Abruzzi and other professors in the Lasell College Master of Science in Sport Management program. time
Nick Abruzzi is a Graduate Program Lecturer for the Sport Management program.
Whether you are brand new to the marketing field or have already established yourself within the industry, it is never a bad time to reflect on the skills you bring to the table and consider where you can grow.
Janet Huetteman has worked as a consultant in branding, change management, communications, customer experience, and market research – and has noticed consistent areas in which marketing professionals find the most success. How many of these can you check off of your list?
The more effectively you can put your feet into your customers’ shoes, the better a marketer and communicator you will be, she says. Your mentality must be flexible enough to float between the language of the business and the mindset of the customer. Huetteman suggests using research and customer insights to understand pain points and make strong, smart business decisions.
One side alone is not strong enough to keep your strategies effective. Think out of the box in terms of what you can do, but also take a rational approach to how those ideas can be accomplished.
“A good marketer is a good collaborator,” says Huetteman. “You won’t have all of the answers by yourself, but you can seek them out internally with your team, or look externally at what macro forces are driving decision making.” Be prepared to work up, down, sideways, and out with a variety of stakeholders.
Marketing professionals come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a myriad of skills to the table. You may not consider yourself a “numbers person,” but you should be able to confidently understand and communicate customer and financial data as it pertains to your work.
“Plans tell, presentations sell,” says Huetteman. Understand how you can evolve your internal thinking into a carefully calculated presentation that engages company leadership and gets them on board.
Use competitor analysis to your advantage and understand how the marketplace might shift. Frequently gauge your team and company’s innovative strides and evaluate where to move forward or pull back. “An innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit are critical in the marketing function,” says Huetteman.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced today that Lasell College in Newton, Mass. will become the first official preferred internship partner of the league and will offer discounted tuition rates to current MLL players pursuing their degrees beginning immediately.
"This is an exciting partnership that will provide meaningful professional experiences for our graduate and undergraduate students, while offering Major League Lacrosse players diverse learning opportunities on the Lasell campus and through our online programs," said Lasell President Michael B. Alexander. "We are delighted to partner with MLL and to launch this exciting initiative."
Located just six miles from the MLL office, Lasell's proximity and respected Sport Management and Sports Communications curricula made the school an ideal fit for MLL. In addition, 100 percent of Lasell students participate in internships while completing their undergraduate degrees and many have gained significant experience working with Boston sports teams, including the Celtics and the New England Patriots.
"We are very pleased to be collaborating with such an innovative institution right in our backyard," said Bill Beach, Sponsorship Sales and Fulfillment Manager for MLL. "We are always in need of strong interns at the league office and Lasell can provide us with a pipeline of talented students and we can provide them with real world experiences as they explore careers in the business side of sports."
Lasell students will have the opportunity to assist in all departments in the league office, as well as contribute to a number of special projects throughout the lacrosse season.
Equally important, Lasell will offer all current MLL players and league personnel the opportunity to take undergraduate and graduate courses, both on campus and online, in a range of disciplines including business, management, sport management, communication, criminal justice, education, nutrition for human performance, rehabilitation science, and information technology. A number of MLL players have successfully balanced academics with league play, including Ohio Machine midfielder Peter Baum, who is currently enrolled in law school.
Professor Claudia Rinaldi, Ph.D. Chair of Education and Associate Professor of Education will be presenting at the annual conference for the Massachusetts Educators of English Language Learners (MATSOL) on May 31st. Dr. Rinaldi's presentation, titled "Using Progress Monitoring Tools to Guide Instructional Planning for English Learning with Disabilities", will allow participants the opportunity to practice on two case studies and develop to write a short report from the results.
Progress monitoring tools provide critical information to pre-referral and special education referral teams on the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills of English learners.
For more information on Dr. Rinaldi's presentation, please visit matsol.org.
Lasell College held its 163rd Commencement exercises Sunday, May 14 on its Newton, Massachusetts campus, granting 367 Baccalaureate degrees and 116 Master's degrees before an audience of family, friends and members of the Lasell community. Lesley Visser, a broadcast sports journalist and media personality, delivered a keynote speech. Visser offered the freshly-minted Lasell Master's degree holders advice about the job market, encouraging them to "meet with everyone you can . . . and send handwritten thank-you notes," adding that "geography should have no bearing" on where you work.
The Master’s level Criminal Justice program at Lasell College has been granted Quinn Bill certification by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. This state program, which was originally enacted in 1970 to foster a more effective criminal justice system, motivates full-time police officers in participating cities and towns to pursue degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice through salary increases. Also known as the Police Career Incentive Pay Program, Lasell is now one of only seven schools in the Commonwealth to be certified at the graduate school level.
“As a result of the high bar of excellence set by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, there are very few Quinn Bill certified Masters’ programs in the Commonwealth,” said Linda Bucci, J.D., Chair of Justice Studies and Professor of Legal Studies at Lasell College. “After an extensive review of our program, the state determined we have more than exceeded the established standards. We take great pride in our program and this highly regarded designation.”
Lasell’s undergraduate criminal justice program received Quinn Bill certification in 2007. Since then, more than 155 students have earned bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice from the College, which is based in Newton, Massachusetts.
The recent Quinn Bill certification reflects the strength of the College’s Criminal Justice curriculum which is rooted in connected learning, emphasizing critical thinking and the benefits of real-world experiences. According to Bucci, Lasell’s graduate program in Criminal Justice was designed to meet the needs of police officers and other working professionals interested in expanding their knowledge, gaining a better understanding of the diverse communities they serve and developing essential communications skills and proficiency in new technologies. “Earning the state’s Quinn Bill designation confirms the enduring value of our Criminal Justice program,” said Bucci. Lasell’s MS in Criminal Justice program—which adheres to the high standards established by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and the Police Career Incentive Pay Program— offers concentrations in emergency and crisis management, homeland security and global justice, and violence prevention and advocacy. Students can also collaborate with faculty to create a personalized program that meets specific career goals. Faculty members include experts in the field of criminal justice, legal studies, and criminology. The extensive online program allows students to continue working while earning an advanced degree.
Lasell’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice program is recognized as among the best by Ashland Chief of Police and part-time faculty member, Craig Davis. “I recognize the value of Lasell’s criminal justice program because of its exceptional faculty, its flexibility and the quality of its curriculum. Without question, a Lasell degree allows police officers to invest in their futures and advance in their careers,” said Davis.
About Lasell College
An innovative educational institution for more than 160 years, Lasell is an independent coeducational college emphasizing the integration of professional and liberal arts programs leading to bachelor's and master's degrees. The campus is situated on a 53-acre campus eight miles from downtown Boston. Adjacent to the college is Lasell Village, the first-of-its-kind, college-sponsored continuing care retirement community with a learning mandate that has drawn international attention.