After graduating from Providence Catholic High School in 2014, Sean McGrath graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Sports Management. He knew early on that he wanted to work in the sports industry. Using the tools he learned from his peers and mentors, he carved his career path for himself and found his way working in the Front office of the St. Louis Blues Professional Hockey Team as an Inside Sales Representative. The St. Louis Blues are just four wins from hoisting their first Stanley Cup. They advanced to the final round for the first time in 49 years.
Meet Providence Catholic Alumnus, Sean McGrath ‘14
Q: Tell us more about your career progression and how you landed your job.
A: I always wanted to work for a professional sports team in the front office. Throughout college, I did every internship and/or club that I thought would prepare me for the next level. I interned for Charlotte Motor Speedway, The Joliet Slammers Professional Baseball Team, and The Chicago Fire Soccer Club. Shortly after, I landed my full-time job with the St. Louis Blues. I faced a lot of rejection from many different teams along the way but my hard work really paid off in the end when I got my break with the St. Louis Blues and I absolutely love going into work every day.
Q: How did your education at Providence Catholic prepare you for what you are doing now?
A: Providence really prepared me for college because of the great teaching staff and coaches. They all truly care about their students. The college counselors sit down with you and help with applications. They teach you how to prepare work wise and how to be organized. Providence is a great stepping stone. It has shaped me and prepared me for my personal and professional career. I would recommend it to any prospective high school student. The values and work ethic taught at Providence are unmatched.
Q: What advice would you give current students interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry?
A: Do everything and anything to get yourself involved in the sports field. Be willing to take unpaid internships and work long hours. No job is too menial. Everyone started somewhere and you have to be willing to deal with a lot of rejection. However, at the end of the day, it is one of the most rewarding jobs. Make sure to build your network by joining clubs and going to different networking events. Shake hands, hand out business cards and be ready to work hard. Also, feel free to reach out to me, I am glad to offer any advice or connect people I know.
Q: Who influenced you the most during your time at Providence Catholic and why?
A: It so hard to narrow it down to one person because everyone is so great. I would have to say three different people stand out to me. First, Coach Tim Trendel. I was an incoming freshman when he got hired and I have never met a man who cared about every single one of his players and students like he did. The way he attacked his job was relentless, and he taught me to take on sports and my professional career as he did. He helped myself and our entire team grow as players and men. He went the extra mile for us and it made us want to go the extra mile for him. No coach in the state works harder than Tim Trendel.
Second, I would say Coach Tommy my offensive line coach and AP US History guru. His love for every aspect of Providence is unmatched. I loved his class and the way he led us on the field would make anyone want to run through a brick wall for the guy.
Third, my English teacher Mr. Rassman (MR). His class was my favorite because he not only taught me lessons in school but lessons in life. I think he is an inspiration to everyone he has come in contact with.
Q: What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Providence Catholic?
A: I think the most important thing I learned was to persevere. There were many moments when you want to give up on something and you need your friends, peers, and adults to pick you up. I would have quit football if Coach Pergi didn’t talk me out of it and I am thankful he did or else I would have missed out on one of the best times of my life. It is a great lesson for every aspect of life.
Q. What is something many people may not know about you?
A: I can play the Piano! I took lessons for about 8 years. I just love jamming and signing to the beat!