Within her short time working in minor league baseball, Master of Sports Leadership alumna Julie Hershkowitz, director of Client Services & Hospitality for the Pawtucket Red Sox, has learned to wear many hats. One day, she’s meeting with clients on their partnership agreements, the next she’s planning an event with the club’s chairman, and then she’s going over a new web-based order collection system to ensure everything works smoothly on the client interface.
“Every day is different, and I am always busy no matter what season it is,” Hershkowitz says.
Her position was brand new when she signed on, so Hershkowitz has had the opportunity to make the client services arena her own.
“I am a person who thrives on building relationships and I love logistics, so it’s been a great fit for me,” she says. “We are in the midst of working on pitching brand new inventory at the park and I love working with our corporate sales team on finding out what the clients’ needs are, and then coming up with creative ways to execute on them.”
Before taking on this role, Hershkowitz was a Fenway ambassador, acting as a direct link between the fans and the front office—a duty she still relishes in her current role.
“As ambassadors, we were able to personally connect with our fan base and provide them with outstanding customer service, and really fun and unique opportunities,” she says.
For example, last September Hershkowitz had a family come to the ballpark from Louisiana. Recent floods in the area forced the family to evacuate their home and, as they left, their young son grabbed their Red Sox tickets for an upcoming game off the mantle.
“Once we got word about their visit, we wanted to create a memorable experience for them, which included watching the game from seats behind home plate and taking in an inning from inside the Green Monster,” she says.
Beyond making dreams come true for Sox fans of all ages, Hershkowitz has worked on several administrative initiatives, such as coordinating all of the Peanut Allergy-Friendly games and the 1975 Red Sox team reunion. She’s also acted as Red Sox alumni coordinator for the David Ortiz Retirement Weekend.
“I’m sure you can imagine how much fun, and work, that was,” Hershkowitz says. “I got to show off my Spanish skills with alumni like Manny Ramirez and Julio Lugo.”
One of the key takeaways she got from completing Northeastern’s Sports Leadership program seems simple enough, but has had a big impact on her career.
“Sports is the platform that opens up the conversation,” she says. She first applied this lesson while on the coaching staff of Northeastern’s Women’s Ice Hockey team, before joining the Red Sox. “Not a day went by when I wasn’t using what I learned in the program with the players,” she says. “It was being able to relate to them on a different level.”
She’s also come back time and again to an “influence without authority” concept she learned in the program. “It’s your duty to act no matter what position you are in—and knowing that, you do have influence,” she says.
Hershkowitz’s favorite Sports Leadership course was Sport in Society with Northeastern Athletic Director Peter Roby during the Summer Institute.
“I would not be where I am today without his guidance, support, and friendship,” she says. “That course dug deep into issues surrounding sports in our culture and how we can use it as a platform for social change. It made me think more critically about my role as a mentor and leader in our profession.”
For now, Hershkowitz is relishing each season.
“There’s really nothing like putting a smile on a child’s face when you’re able to provide them with a once-in-a lifetime opportunity,” she says.