Last fall, Joe Quinlan ’16 came back to Thomas College for his first alumni weekend.
“Being the guy coming back to see his friends was very different than when recent grads would come back to see you,” he said. “But it was great to see my old friends – especially my former baseball teammates.”
While there, he was also able to share the news about his recent promotion at the Maine Red Claws.
Quinlan says he has the “Thomas connection” to thank for his opportunities and success.
(Photo by Rich Obrey/NBAE via Getty Images)
A month or so before Quinlan graduated from Thomas College, he attended the school’s annual Spring Career Fair.
Something he said at the Red Claws booth caught the recruiter’s attention.
“The recruiter took my resume and wrote down ‘sales’ and said ‘I’m going to give this to our President at the Red Claws and he is going to contact you.’”
Then, during Senior Week Quinlan attended a graduating seniors and trustees brunch. He was able to meet with Bill Ryan, a Thomas board of trustee and owner of the Maine Red Claws.
“I made sure to go up to him and introduce myself. I made sure he knew who I was and that I was interested in working for the team. I told him I had applied and interviewed and that it was something I really wanted to do,” said Quinlan. “He was impressed that I came up to him so boldly and decided he wanted me to work there. It worked out – because of my Thomas connections.”
After Quinlan graduated with a sport management degree from Thomas College, he began working for the Maine Red Claws as a part-time sales representative.
“I was hired part-time because I really didn’t have the experience,” said Quinlan. “I had to work over the summers to pay for school so I didn’t really get the chance to do an internship. I was very open with them about that. They basically took a chance on me.”
Quinlan’s job was inside sales. His focus is season and group tickets.
“My job entailed prospecting, making phone calls, emails, setting up meetings face-to-face, getting out of the office to meet people and create positive relationships.”
Quinlan said it was a struggle at first, but he got used to it. He said it was similar to his first week at Thomas College.
“I remember once all five of my classes started, I felt very overwhelmed and it was kind of this initial welcome to college moment. I remember getting through that. I knew that I just had to get through that initial moment of all the stress and being tired, and thinking I didn’t have enough time in the day,” he said. “And I just had to push through that and I knew it would come. I just basically did the same when I started working for the Red Claws.”
After six months, he was promoted to a full-time account executive at the Red Claws.
His duties still entailed selling season and group tickets, but Quinlan focused on working with a lot of youth and recreation centers and get involved with the community, such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club.
“We try to get kids out on the court throughout the game for activities. We make sure the kids have a fun time and overall have a great experience while watching the game,” he said.
Quinlan said he loves his job because it is challenging and a lot of fun.
“I had to learn a lot on my own. I put in a lot of extra work to understand the business.”
Quinlan said his time at Thomas College as a student ambassador, giving prospective students campus tours, helped him get his sales job after graduation
“If I can sell Thomas as a place for someone to be for the next four years of their lives, then I can sell any ticket in this building.”
Quinlan said Thomas helped him find a love for sports business. At first, he was only focused on playing baseball at Thomas but then he found he really enjoyed the sport management program and learning about the business of sports.
“I left Thomas not just concerned about sports, but prepared for my professional career – and for the business world. I left more prepared for the real world.”
Quinlan said the Thomas connection doesn’t end when you graduate.
“I’ve had some success linking up with Thomas graduates of all ages and telling them my story,” he said. “Thomas graduates are always willing to help out other Thomas alum. Just reaching out and offering to grab a coffee together is a great way to network for students still at school or recent grads.”
At the end of the day, Quinlan is very happy where he ended up post-grad.
“I have one of the best jobs in the world because I don’t have to say something that I don’t truly believe in. And Thomas gave me the opportunity to pursue something that I truly believe in,” he said. “My job is to sell fun and to put a smile on somebody’s face.”