Allen Sliwa, Class of 2004, currently works in the Sports Marketing department for ESPNLA. He is responsible for generating revenue for radio broadcasts, specifically for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and the USC football program. Allen is part of the Aztec Mentor Program (AMP), which places juniors, seniors and graduate students in one-on-one mentorships with established alumni/professionals in San Diego. We are currently seeking students to match with Allen as part of this program. We asked Allen about his career, and how his experiences will benefit his fellow Aztecs:
SDSU Career Services: What motivates you to be a mentor for the Aztec Mentor Program?
Allen Sliwa: I’m an alumnus of San Diego State and would like to help where I can. I feel my path of how I got to where I am can be beneficial to share with current students. When I was a student, I could have used advice, tips, etc., on how to properly prepare for life after college. I feel it’s my duty to give back, especially to students from San Diego State University.
SDSUCS: What industry do you work in and what is your job?
AS: I work in the Sports Media Industry in Los Angeles for ESPN. My job is to generate revenue through sponsorship sales which includes our Radio and Digital Division for Southern California. I am responsible for selling our Los Angeles Lakers, USC Football Trojans & Anaheim Angels Radio broadcasts. In addition, our local sports talk shows on 710AM and our local website, ESPNLA.com. My day to day is on the ‘Business’ side of the industry.
SDSUCS: What is the best part of your job?
AS: I work in the sports industry for ESPN and the Lakers radio broadcast; that alone is the best part of my job. I grew up a Lakers fan and always wanted to be a part of the ‘sports industry’ and have now spent the better half of 10 years in the business. There are also a lot of perks which include hosting clients at Lakers and USC games, etc.; those are always fun. I also am prideful when I bring in a new account that’s never been a part of ESPN. I enjoy that the company depends on people in my position to generate the revenue.
SDSUCS: What qualities do you think a mentee should have?
AS: DRIVE. I think it’s the most important tool. A mentee needs to have something that drives them to succeed. Does not matter what it is, but it has to be something they are passionate about. Anyone can get a 9-5 gig, but a job that will motivate you to ‘excellence’ is the challenge. Do not settle; settling is the easy way out. A job that challenges the mind that one genuinely enjoys is more valuable than any dollar amount can provide. In addition, if you’re the ‘best’ at your job because you ‘love’ it, money will follow.
SDSUCS: What do you hope to learn from being a mentor?
AS: I look forward to learning about the students and their perspectives. It’s a different mindset that will be a fresh breath of air. I think I can learn a little more about myself, reflect a little on when I was in college, how much I’ve learned since I graduated, etc. I anticipate it being a great experience for all parties.
Any students interested in mentoring with Allen or any other Aztec alumni, please visit amp.sdsu.edu. The application period is August 18 – September 15. Program space is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis.