At SportsNet New York, Rider alumna combines twin passions of sports and graphic design

Alex Gomez '15 has pledged a recurring gift to her alma mater in appreciation
Diane Cornell

It was an art and design elective at Rider University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that initially sparked the interest of Alex Gomez ’15 in graphic design, but it was a chance conversation with Senior Associate Director of Athletics Karin Torchia that led to what is now her career.

Beginning in her sophomore year, Gomez was part of the Rider Athletics promotion staff, running contests at basketball games, giving out t-shirts and tearing tickets at the door. One day during her senior year, Torchia happened to casually ask her what she wanted to do after graduation. After learning of her two major interests, sports and graphic design, Torchia told her that it was possible that she could combine both of them into one job.

“It wasn’t until that conversation that I understood that I could combine both of my passions and make a career out of it.,” says Gomez, who after graduating from Rider with a major in graphic design and a minor in advertising, now works as an ad sales designer at SportsNet New York, a sports network that broadcasts games and related programming for the New York Mets, New York Jets and University of Connecticut Basketball. She also earned a Master of Science in Sports Management from Drexel University in 2017.

How She Landed Her Current Job: When I got the call for the interview I had just broken my ankle indoor rock climbing so they suggested we do the interview over the phone. When they said they wanted me to come in for a second interview I was on crutches, so I hobbled into the SNY offices at the World Trade Center in New York City. This set the tone for the dedication and passion I was willing to put into any task I was given. When I met with my supervisor, we quickly bonded over our shared love of the city of  Philadelphia. It created an immediate bond and allowed me to naturally display my ability to develop relationships with my coworkers.

What She Likes About Her Job: I always loved sports growing up. I played soccer all through grade school and high school until college. I like working in this industry because players are always changing, the stats are always changing and it’s action packed. Because of that, I find that no two days are the same for me.

What She Misses Most About Rider: Oh, so many things! All the friends that I made, hanging out on campus, going to Daly’s for those amazing chocolate chip cookies that I still miss every single day of my life. Also, working as part of the Rider Athletics promotion staff – it was the best job on campus! I especially miss my classes with Professor Jessi Oliano who was the bomb. She made my design classes the absolute best. Today, I am proud to call her one of my best friends and a confidant.I still call her for advice when it comes to designs and everyday things!

Why She Makes a Recurring Monthly Gift to Rider: The University gave me my career, and in particular the communication department. Dr. Sheena Howard, Dr. Pam Brown, and Professor Jessi Oliano had a huge impact on my learning experience at Rider. The faculty taught me everything — how to talk to others in business and how to survive in the real world. As thanks, I give to show my appreciation and help the department thrive.

Her Advice to Current Students: Be you. Whether you're going in for an interview, walking in for your first day of a new job, or are speaking with someone higher up in the company - don't be afraid to be yourself. They're people - just like you. Wow them with your personality and shine with your greatest self no matter where you are in your career or in your life.

Just like your first step as a child or your first professional job as an adult, your first gift to Rider is a noteworthy milestone. By crossing the threshold from college student to philanthropic young adult, you become a partner in the University’s path forward and play a role in shaping and strengthening Rider’s future, actions that work to increase the value of your degree.

Don’t think that $5, $10 or $25 makes a difference? It can, and it does. Gifts from our BOLD alumni (Broncs of the Last Decade), even at a modest level, are meaningful, particularly when pooled together with those from other donors. Just like larger gifts, your support creates opportunity, provides educational excellence and can transform the lives of current students at Rider. The only gift that is too small, is the gift that isn’t made.