Denver Outreach Trip

PDC Staff Coach's Corner

By: Marisa Allen, Career Coach

Last semester the PDC Career Coaches visited major US cities on outreach trips to connect with alumni and build relationship for future opportunities for students. This is the second blog in the series. (Previous posts: Minneapolis)

Companies Visited: Kroenke Sports/Pepsi Center, Integer Group, DaVita, Denver Broncos

Combined with its beautiful mountain views, 200 parks, 85 miles of paved bike path, 100 miles of trails, 5,000+ acres of urban parkland, four major-league sports teams, and 200+ breweries, the strong job growth makes Denver a great town to work and play after graduation. The Denver metro area has more than 2.9million people and 300 days of sunshine a year. Keep in mind, though, the cost of living has increased 13.9 percent since 2009*.

Over two full days in Denver I visited the 4 different companies listed below, and had coffee with the Target recruiter. The airport is 25 miles northeast of downtown Denver, but a 40 minute drive in.

Kroenke_PepsiCenterMy first visit was to visit with a UA Alum who is an Account Manager in Partnership Marketing & Media Sales for Kroenke
Sports & Entertainment
. She works specifically with the Pepsi Center, so works on partnerships with the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalance, Colorado Mammoth plus many additional events in the arena. Also in our meeting was an HR rep for the Pepsi Center. Kroen ke is unique because it’s such a large company there are opportunities from sports teams to arenas to media companies and TV channels.

PepsiCenterKey takeaways:

  • Summer Internships: 300+ applicants > 10 hired (29 hrs/week; min. wage).
  • They prefer to hire interns, but full-time positions are just-in-time hires.
  • HR rep said she can always tell if a student has sought out career services – resume, cover letter, and interview. Likes to see that they are all polished and can tell interview was practiced.
  • When applying for positions, always follow the directions and ensure you have no mistakes on your resume or cover letter.
  • When starting an internship, talk to manager or other full time staff about your career goals. Find out from them directly, what will it take for you to vouch for me at the end of the internship? Can you look at my resume? Ask for help early on and gain buy-in from the other staff.

The IntegIntegerGrouper Group – Next I drove over to Lakewood (a Denver suburb) and visited The Integer Group (an Omnicom agency), a global promotional, retail and shopper marketing agency whose offices are built around/over a Dick’s Sporting Goods. I could see the climbing wall of the store through internal windows. The office was busy with people carrying their laptops as they went from meetings to meetings and working in cubicles.  Associate Director, Talent Management

Key takeaways:

  • Summer internships: 14 interns; $11/hr; start looking in Jan/Feb.
  • Interns gain robust experience working directly with clients
  • They like to see experience with student-run agencies (like AdCats)
  • They look for students with involvement and work. No minimum gpa.
  • Clear career paths, don’t have to leave agency to gain new experience.
  • A possible interview question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years

DaVitaDaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. – In the heart of downtown Denver, I visited a recruiter from DaVita Healthcare Partners, a Fortune 500 company that provides health care services worldwide. The building is attached to a large parking garage and houses over 1,000 employees. The company itself employs more than 60,000.

Key Takeaways:

  • 1,000+ employees in Denver; 46,000 in company
  • Very big on their CORE values: Service Excellence; Integrity; Team; Continuous Improvement; Accountability; Fulfillment; Fun (this is always an interview question)
  • They are interested in recruiting for their leadership development program: DaVita Redwoods.
    • 15 interns/summer; 15 Full Time
    • Looking to hire for Albuquerque and Las Vegas
    • Require candidates to have strong analytical abilities
    • Students interested in a path in consulting are often attracted to these positions
    • Interview always includes a case plus behavioral questions
  • DaVita culture is intense, yet quirky.

BroncosDenver Broncos – To finish up the trip, I visited Sports Authority Field at Mile High to visit with the VP of Sales & Marketing who happens to be a UA alum. He interned each summer in college at the Philadelphia Phillies then worked for the Baltimore Ravens and has been at the Broncos for 13 years. The business side of the Broncos, much like most sporting organizations, is separate from the team operations.

Key takeaways:

  • About 50 people working on the business side including stadium operations, community development, ticketing (plus PREMIUM seating), marketing, digital social media, video production
  • Internships: for recent grads only, and they run the course of the season (June 1 – February).
    • >1,000 applicants and they hire 5
    • Recruitment starts the day after they win or lose their last game
  • Biggest advice: sell tickets for ANY professional level sport, and do well.
  • Career is taxing: At least 6 months of the year you work solid including nights and weekends. In his role, he goes to every game home and away.
  • They look for applicants with: a demonstrated passion, sales background (charismatic, articulate, fun), SMART (good GPA, intellectual curiosity), well-read (Sports Business Daily, other sports periodicals), healthy conflict (comfortable challenging the norm)
  • Sample interview questions: “tell me about a time you had conflict or disagreed
  • Very LOW salaries to start (wear like a badge, started at $18K)


*(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)