INDIANAPOLIS - Ferris State University Sports Marketing alumnus Eric Cole has netted a career with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association.
The 2011 Ferris graduate from Buchanan, Mich., credits the work ethic he learned at Ferris with helping him land a dream job in the NBA. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in Sports Marketing, Cole also earned certificates in Sales and Public Relations from Ferris.
Cole was hired by the Pacers after attending a Detroit Pistons job fair during his senior year. He worked as an inside sales accounting executive for about six months before he was promoted to group events specialist, creating customized fan packages and working with youth basketball programs to provide a Pacers game-day experience.
“I get to work every single game and bring groups out to participate in events prior, during or after the game,” Cole said. “Not to mention, I am 10 feet away from the NBA superstars, and I’m in the crazy, enthusiastic and fun-filled environment of our arena (Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis).”
During his time at Ferris, Cole was elected president of the university’s chapter of the American Marketing Association. Under his presidency, the student organization earned a bronze award, ranking in the top 20 of more than 300 national chapters, at the AMA’s International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans.
Cole also served as vice president, brotherhood chairman and recruitment director of his fraternity, Sigma Pi. He also was very involved with the Ferris Athletic Department and completed three internships as a director of marketing and promotions, and as an athletic sponsorship intern.
“The best thing I did was get involved,” said Cole, who was elected Ferris’ homecoming king. “My advice to students is to get involved with everything, whether it is student organizations, internships or working. I think everyone should do at least two internships while at school to gain experience. Another piece of advice would be to go out of your way to get what you want.”
Cole credits his advisor Laura Dix, a professor in the College of Business, who he said placed him in the position he needed to be in to succeed, and COB Professor Nate Tymes, who helped keep him on track. He also thanked Ferris Associate Athletic Director Jon Coles for giving him an opportunity to intern with Ferris’ basketball programs, leading him to his career and a position with the Pacers.
“The biggest difference you can make between a colleague and you is your hard work ethic,” Cole said.