After spending 15 years and gaining countless promotions through the same company, Tameka Rish knows a thing or two about loyalty and how staff can succeed in the exciting world of American sport.

Currently Vice President of Corporate Affairs at AMB Sports & Entertainment – the parent company that looks after NFL franchise Atlanta Falcons, MLS side Atlanta United and the incredible Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Tameka recently spoke to UCFB students as part of the virtual Atlanta Global Summit where she outlined the importance of gaining experience of the sports industry in order to make yourself absolutely employable upon graduation.

She said: “Understanding your goals is really important, but get an internship that gets you in the door and be open to experiences. The time when you finish your studies is really important to figure out where you want to be. Through that experience I found an opportunity and kind of fell in love with the corporate marketing and business side of sport; I found my home and then I was able to grow within that.”

Tameka’s involvement in Atlanta and its sports scene has been during one of its most memorable periods in living memory. In 2018 Atlanta United won the MLS Cup in only their second season, and now attract the biggest crowds in the league. And only a year before that United and the Falcons moved into the $1.7bn Mercedes-Benz Stadium – unquestionably the most stunning venue in American sport. 2017 also saw the Falcons reach the Super Bowl where they fell victim to a masterclass from New England’s Tom Brady.

It’s all these experiences which Tameka says makes sport such a brilliant industry to work in. She adds, though, that those new to the industry must have the right attitude to succeed.

She finished: “Be open minded to opportunities, then when you show up [as an intern] be open to do anything. I tell my interns and staff that I can’t teach attitude and I can’t teach work ethic, but if you have those two things then you can learn almost anything else. The interns that stick out to us the most are the ones that will do anything because they do it with a good attitude.”