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Hitting a home run with persistence

Hitting a home run with persistence

Sarina Tacovic February 27, 2024

How does UD junior Shelby LaMattina earn an associate degree in high school, double major in entrepreneurship and economics, lead UD's dance team and business fraternity Epsilon Nu Tau, and secure an internship with the New York Yankees? Persistence.

“I hear ‘no’ all the time, but ‘no’ can push you to do more,” LaMattina said. “The more ‘no’s’ you get, the harder you’re going to try.”

Shelby LaMattina at Yankee Stadium
Shelby LaMattina at Yankee Stadium

Take for instance how she landed her internship with the Yankees during the summer of 2023 selling ticket plans to individuals and businesses, helping with group events on the field and media days, and providing customer service for Yankees ticket holders. She didn’t get there through traditional means. The job didn’t have an open application, so she pitched herself to her would-be boss and followed up with phone calls expressing clear interest in the position. She said her boss appreciated her persistence and saw it as a valuable skill for the sales role.

Back on campus, LaMattina’s experience with the Yankees inspired her to advocate for UD’s dance team, wading through a sea of “no’s” and “not right now’s” — things she heard plenty of selling tickets — to elevate the team's profile.

The team was performing an average of one sporting event per month in addition to campus events and practices. LaMattina, determined to take UD Dance from an after-school activity to a more professional experience, lobbied UD athletics for field and court time. Now the team is performing at an average of four games and events per month.

“We’re busy students, we don't have coaches or others to do that for us, so I had to push a lot,” LaMattina said. “Now we’re dancing at football games, we’re on the sidelines and doing routines like collegiate dance teams do.”

LaMattina came to the University of Dayton full of tenacity, but ultimately credits her UD experiences for her development as a focused and determined leader.

“UD does a really good job at making students feel valuable.”

“I’m president of two organizations, I work for Flyer Enterprises, and I do all of these things, and I think these opportunities UD offers work to build students’ confidence,” LaMattina said. “I never would have had the courage to work for the Yankees if it wasn’t for UD.”

Dancing the night away