Each year Central Washington University gets the opportunity to welcome students, alumni, staff, faculty, and Wildcat fans to T-Mobile Park for CWU Night with the Mariners.
Not only is this a time for the Wildcat Nation to gather for an evening at the ballpark, it is also an opportunity for the CWU Alumni Association to work alongside several alumni who work for the Mariners to put this evening together.
Liz McCloskey (’04) is the director of sales development and group events for the Mariners and began with the organization the same year she graduated from CWU, in 2004.
When asked how her time at Central helped prepare her for this role, McCloskey said, “Sales is about connecting with people, and through my studies in public relations I learned to talk through strategies and connect one on one, but also in large settings.”
While at CWU, McCloskey had to complete an internship as part of her undergraduate degree requirements. She struggled to find much information at that time about how to find a job in sports, and now she wants to share her knowledge with students in hopes of interested individuals being able to follow in a similar career path as her.
“I did a lot of research and work on my own to find my first internship,” said McCloskey. To be able to provide current students a way to connect and learn what it takes to work in sports has been great!”
Now with CWU Night with the Mariners just weeks away, McCloskey looks forward to the Wildcat reunion that she has spent so much time planning.
“Bringing the Central community to the ballpark each year has been a lot of fun,” she said. “Current students get to network with alumni, friends who haven’t seen each other in years get to reconnect, all while enjoying some Mariners baseball!”
Working alongside McCloskey is former CWU softball player Alexa Olague (’16, ’18) who works on the sales team as an account executive for group events.
“I am extremely grateful for Liz,” said Olague. “She has been an incredible mentor to me over the past few years, and I am constantly learning more and more from her every single day. Liz is a huge reason why I am in the role I am in, and I am forever thankful for all of her guidance!”
Olague began working for the Mariners when she graduated from Central in 2018 after completing an internship with the Tacoma Rainiers baseball team, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
“One of my public relations degree graduation requirements was to find an internship of some sort during my junior year,” said Olague. “I found and applied to an internship working for the Tacoma Rainiers, and through this internship experience, I discovered my passion for working in sports, specifically baseball.”
Now, Olague has the opportunity to take her passion for sports and her alma mater and help plan CWU Night with the Mariners.
“My favorite part about working on CWU night has been interacting and communicating with current CWU students,” said Olague. “It is incredibly special to be able to share my experiences with others and help mentor students who have interest in working in the sports world one day.”
Rob Scheidegger (’02) is also a Wildcat that joined the Mariners organization and serves as their senior director of high performance. Currently in his second year in this role, Scheidegger supervises sports medicine, sports performance (strength and conditioning), and sports science and nutrition for the entire organization.
“My experience at Central Washington University gave me the foundation necessary to have the success I have had up to this point in my career,” said Scheidegger. “The Exercise Science program built a didactic foundation, but it was the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through the final year of my education which gave me the confidence and connections needed to have success as a young professional.”
This year CWU Night with the Mariners is on April 22, and a co-branded CWU Mariners hat is available to those who purchase through the special ticket link mariners.com/cwu. We look forward to seeing you at T-Mobile Park and hope you get a chance to connect with the Wildcats who helped put this event together as well as your Wildcat networks!
Story by: Robin Burck