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Second Cohort of Sport and Entertainment Management MBA Interns Hit the Ground Running in The District Detroit

Misb Mba Liz Kaiser Touch Up
Misbellie Dean

Michigan natives and Wayne State Warriors Liz Kaiser and Ellie Dean are getting hands-on professional experience in the competitive sport and entertainment industry, right in The District Detroit.

Both young women, currently MBA students in The Sport and Entertainment Management (SEM) program at the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, were selected to complete immersive two-year internship at various Ilitch Holdings, Inc. companies in August.  

Since the start of the fall semester, Kaiser and Dean have worked with the team behind Olympia Entertainment/Detroit Red Wings.

The unique program launched last year under the direction of SEM program director and Associate Professor Scott Tainsky, PhD. In addition to promoting hands-on experience, the program offers a diverse selection of courses covering marketing, sales, finance, economics, management, leadership event operations, among other areas. The university announced the MBA concentration in conjunction with Mike and Marian Ilitch’s historic $40 million gift to the business school, which led to the new building on Woodward Avenue next to the innovative Little Caesars Arena.

“Students who began their internships last fall are already on the fast-track at these organizations. They have gained invaluable experience in multiple departments and developed relationships with some of the most influential members of the sport and entertainment community,” Tainsky said

The students will work at Little Caesars Arena and Comerica Park, giving them easy access to the award-winning home of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons, the Columbia Street retail destination, the Fox Theatre and the Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. The rotating internship program will take students through various departments, which includes areas such as Marketing, Social Media and Promotions; Community and Public Affairs; Premium, Ticket and Group Sales and Communications & Corporate Partnerships.

Dean, who grew up on a lake in the Midland area, moved to Detroit on a full athletic scholarship after spending years honing her competitive swimming skills. As an economics major undergrad at Wayne State, she was voted captain of the university’s GLIAC Division II swimming team by her peers and even completed a project about The District Detroit for an Urban Planning course. She also worked as a bookkeeper and worked for a local bakery, Quicken Loans, and the Mike Ilitch School of Business, as a research assistant. Dean she was shocked to be selected for the competitive two-year internship.

“I was so, so, surprised,” said Dean, who graduated in May 2019. “It’s been a kind of whirlwind since then.”

Kaiser, a Warren native, graduated from Wayne State with a degree in marketing in May. A self-described child of the “the biggest Red Wings fan in the whole world,” Kaiser has always loved sports—especially hockey. During undergrad, she landed internships at Delaware North, the concessionaire at Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena and the United Shore Professional Baseball League, where she frequently worked on the Jimmy John’s Field in Utica. She was also a mentee to Haley Kolff, Director of Promotions and Special Event at Detroit Tigers through Wayne State's corporate mentorship program.

Kaiser said she was drawn to Wayne State because it is in the heart of Detroit.  “I love the city. I love what’s happening to it right now and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

Eligible MBA interns were required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week, have a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least one year of experience in the sport and entertainment industry.

About The District Detroit 

Home to the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Lions, The District Detroit is the epicenter of sports and entertainment in the heart of the city and includes seven incredible theaters. It is the densest concentration of the four major sports teams in any urban core in the country.  It is a place with something for everyone fueling Detroit’s resurgence and attracting new investment in the city.  Anchored by Comerica Park and the historic Fox Theatre, The District Detroit is home to the award-winning Little Caesars Arena, the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and the new Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. Little Caesars Arena features four shopping and dining establishments: Mike’s Pizza Bar, Sports & Social Detroit, Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit, District Market and Team Store—as well as office space for Google, 313 Presents and the Detroit Red Wings. New businesses coming to The District Detroit include Tin Roof Detroit, The M Den, Frita Batidos, Rush Bowls, Sahara Restaurant and Grill, Union Joints, Detroit Medical Center and Warner Norcross & Judd.  The District Detroit has brought more than 20,000 construction and construction-related jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs for Detroiters and Michiganders to this area of the city, resulting in an estimated $2.1 billion in total economic impact.