HAPPEN Make Dreams Troy White ,

Make Dreams HAPPEN
Troy White, 2012 Marketing Alumnus
Client Services Executive, Chicago White Sox, Chicago, IL
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Career Bio
Sometimes the journey isn’t a
straight line—but you grow a lot and
gain a lot by persevering. My path to
the Chicago White Sox had a couple
of twists and turns. When I graduated
I began to communicate with various
professional sports organizations about
my desire to work in the industry. I was
informed by many that there weren’t
any positions available at the time. After
receiving this disappointing news, I
began working as a Staffing Consultant
at an employment services company in
downtown Chicago. Approximately 10
months into this position, I was offered
a business development opportunity
with a business intelligence firm, which
I accepted. Then in July 2013—I’ll
never forget this—I navigated through
my email inbox and stumbled across a
message I had sent to a professional
sports team. It was like a
wake-up call…I realized
again how passionate I am
about working in sports. I
contacted my former NIU
baseball coach, Ed Mathey,
with no certainty, exhibits my passion
and confidence in my work ethic. In
August, I interviewed for one of the 10
sales internship positions and earned
the opportunity. Let’s fast forward to
the month of February 2015, when a
full-time sales employee accepted a
position outside of the company and
another employee assumed his position.
This meant that there was now ONE
full-time opportunity available within the
Client Services division of the White
Sox organization. All sales interns
were informed of the opportunity and
invited to apply. This was an exciting
time, because one of us was going
to earn a full-time position. After the
interviews were conducted, we all
patiently waited for our individual
meetings to find out who earned the
position. Through all my hard work,
dedication and previous experience I
was chosen to join the Client Service
team. So two years into my journey, I
had finally achieved my goal! I wouldn’t
have accomplished this without the
constant support from my family, friends
and Ed Mathey. It’s also important that
I believed in myself and took the risk to
start as an intern with the White Sox.
Did you know right away as
a student what you wanted
to do in business?
I only knew that I wanted to have a
career in the sports industry. My exact
position and responsibilities were not
as certain. And even though my career
didn’t begin in sports right away, the
skill set and knowledge I obtained from
my previous experiences proved to be
instrumental to my current successes.
How do you show up in
the world?
It’s important that I’m seen as
reliable, hard-working, competitive and
authentic. I want people in my life to
know that if something needs to get
done that I’m the person capable of
making it happen. My participation
in sports and family upbringing has
instilled a desire to achieve greatness.
In whatever endeavors I undertake, I’m
going to work hard to achieve success
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and informed him of my goal and dream
to work in sports. Ed was supportive
and stated that he would assist in any
way possible. My family has supported
my passion throughout my life and
helped me to tailor a new message,
which I sent out again to professional
sports organizations. The revamped
letter garnered a reply from Christine
O’Reilly, Vice President of Community
Relations with the Chicago White
Sox. She indicated that the White Sox
organization has yearly internships
and said it’s a great way to “get your
foot in the door.” I was instructed to
let her know if an internship was of
interest, and then she would forward my
resume and message to Moira Foy, the
Vice President of Human Resources.
Without hesitation, I responded “YES,
I would greatly appreciate it if you
would forward my credentials.” It was
an opportunity I could not pass up,
even with the risk it posed. Mind you,
I was still employed at the business
intelligence firm and performing well.
To go from a secure opportunity with
great benefits to a paid internship
With your background and
now a career in sports, you’ve
seen good teamwork up close.
What components make a
team good or even great?
As a former collegiate athlete and
now working in sports, teamwork
is crucial to success. Teamwork in
school, business and on the field has
similarities. Every good team must
have accountability. If a member is
deviating from the plan, it needs to be
addressed and that individual needs
to understand that it’s not personal but
rather realize the importance of his/her
contributions. Good teamwork requires
picking up or covering for a teammate
to ensure that the group doesn’t miss
a beat (i.e. selflessness). Lastly, no
individual can be “bigger” than the goal.
No matter what your title or position
is, everyone is contributing to the
team effort and no one person is more
important than the group and its goal.
In what way is NIU
Business uncommon?
There are multiple aspects that
make NIU Business unique. However,
the support that the faculty provides
its students is astounding! The
NIU College of Business does a
tremendous job of supporting their
students’ extracurricular activities
and taking a genuine interest in
their lives. Many times I would have
conversations with faculty members
about things that were unrelated to
what was mentioned in class or even
NIU or the College of Business. This
personal touch and genuine interest
is what I will always remember.
How do you stay hungry?
Simply, I set goals. It’s amazing how
impactful it is to your success when you
write down your goals or create a vision
board. I like setting some lofty goals,
because every day I wake up, I know it’s
time to go to work if there’s something
to be accomplished. As odd as it may
sound, I appreciate failure. I’ve failed all
throughout my young life, but that helps
to provide motivation. There is much to
learn from an individual who has failed,
including how he/she reacts to failure.
Will they pity themselves or is he/she
going to use that failure as a motivating
factor? The latter is my mindset, which
is why I set goals that I truly want,
without watering them down into what I
can ”more than likely” accomplish. The
knowledge you gain on the journey
to your goals is invaluable…even if it
takes 1, 2 or even 10 years longer to
get there than you originally expected.
Tell us your “WHY?”
Many factors motivate me in my
life; some internal and some external.
The greatest external factor is my
drive to show my family and friends
appreciation for all of the support and
love they have shown throughout my
life. I want my family to take pride in
the way they raised me and the type
of young man I have become and the
man I will become. I can never repay
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otherwise I’m wasting my time and
everyone else’s. No matter what level
of success I achieve, it’s important to
retain authenticity and to remain humble.
Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. Produced by authority of the State of Illinois. www.niu.edu 46312 10/15
them for all the time, money, love and
energy they expended on my behalf, so
showing them that it wasn’t in vain is
my way of paying them back. In terms
of internal drivers, I simply want to
become successful in every aspect
of my life. My competitive spirit won’t
allow me to become complacent. There
is always another goal to achieve.
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