by: Clara Belle Lefton '12 | Photo Gallery
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Feb. 25, 2012) – When JoJo Gutfarb '11 began interning for the New England Patriots during her senior year of high school, she never expected that it would take her to two Super Bowls and a career in the business side of sports.
"I definitely grew up a Boston sports fan. I would try to go to as many Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins games as I could. But I actually never went to a Patriots game until I started working there," said Gutfarb. "I went to maybe one preseason game."
After her two-week long senior project for the Patriots, she convinced her boss to let her stay on for the summer. While there, she helped out in the Media Relations Department, working with media clips and fan mail in addition to communicating with reporters, coordinating interviews and working training camps.
Her passion for sports continued in the fall of 2007, when she began attending Mount Holyoke and joined the riding team.
"The riding team was definitely a great experience. I was captain my last year, and I've still kept in touch with women on the team - I probably have friends for life," said Gutfarb, who was also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
"Playing a varsity sport in college and growing up riding has definitely helped me manage my time and be responsible."
After developing such a great relationship with Patriots, Gutfarb went on to work there during breaks from school. She spent three summers in a row in the Media Relations Department and was able to attend the 2008 Super Bowl.
Although great opportunities, her boss suggested that she see what else might interest her in the world of sports. A self-designed major in Mass Media and Society, she had taken courses in Sociology along with Communications and Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Exploring her passions, Gutfarb applied to a summer internship with Sports Illustrated and got the job.
"It was cool to be in the room with the editors, writers and web designers, you know, actually going over each page of the magazine before it hits stands, " said Gutfarb. "It was really neat to see how it all works and see that they plan ahead for what they're going to talk about in issues months from now, unless they're some sort of breaking news."
For three months, Gutfarb worked at the Time-Life Building in New York City as the magazine's only summer public relations intern. Her duties included promoting weekly articles, pitching stories and helping out the Social Media Manager Ben Kaplan.
After graduating from Mount Holyoke, she continued to work with the Patriots and went to her second Super Bowl earlier this month. Throughout her week in Indianapolis, she socialized with Patriots workers and transcribed talks in addition to her usual duties.
Gutfarb is currently working full-time as an Account Executive and Social Media Manager for Goodwin Group Public Relations. There, she works with clients like Matt Light, an offensive tackle for the Patriots.
"Luckily, I really enjoyed all my internships. I was definitely lucky, because I know most people going into college don't know at all what they want their major to be, and they might go until junior year being undecided," said Gutfarb. "I suggest it to all the younger kids in college and high school, but I definitely started early, which is why I think I've gotten to where I am."