Finance Manager, Programming and Ad Sales, ESPN
Through Tuck, I’ve learned that it’s about the journey, not the finish line.
It was the spring of 2003 when Alex Smith T’99, got a call from a fellow Tuck alumnus, Eric Fleming T’92. Smith grew up down the street from Fleming’s father in Oak Park, Michigan, likely delivering newspapers to his dad’s front porch on his paper route.
Fleming was calling to tell him about a job opportunity at ESPN, where Fleming worked. The recommendation ended up landing Smith a job as a financial analyst at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. It was a major turning point in Smith’s career.
After graduating with a degree in accounting from the University of Michigan in 1993, Smith worked for two years in public accounting, followed by two years in the private sector. When he decided to enroll in business school, he landed at Tuck, because, as he says, he wanted a smaller environment, a place where he was “the number one customer.”
At Tuck, he took a lot of accounting and finance courses, but he says he learned even greater skills beyond finance. “The school was very good at working on problem solving,” Smith says. “A lot of what we did was trying to frame the debate for our business partners. You’re trying to lay it out and say, ‘We’re at Point A and we need to get to Point B.’ You’re doing case after case to solve problem after problem.”
Smith got more than just an MBA in Hanover. His first year there, a friend suggested he meet a woman who worked in undergraduate admissions. “You should really meet Christine,” his friend had said. He did and the two later married and had a son, now aged 13. Smith’s a proud hockey dad now.
After graduating from Tuck in 1999, he dove into the investment banking world, working for a number of firms. He’s always been a sports fan (“I’ve got a team in every league and every sport,” he says), so when the call came about the job at ESPN, he jumped at the chance.
Smith’s been with ESPN for 14 years and now works as a finance manager, working with the programming department and the ad sales department on deals related to Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, The Masters Golf Tournament, UEFA Football League, Little League World Series, and IndyCar.
“I look back at my time at Tuck really fondly,” he says. “Through Tuck, I’ve learned that it’s about the journey, not the finish line.”
Nykia Wright T'09, an Atlanta native and newcomer to the news business, comes to the job with a background in consulting, the instincts of a problem-solver, and a work ethic honed from childhood.Read More
At the 2018 Super Bowl, Russell Wolff T’94 was sitting between his wife, a fellow Tuck alum, and a VIP client. Wolff, the executive vice president and general manager of ESPN+, takes a lot of clients to sporting events. It’s part of his job description.Read More
What if learning how to play golf could mean the difference between advancing your business career and not? That’s the thinking that Leslie Andrews T’90 has built her business on.Read More
Soccer has long been a part of the life of Peter Grieve T’84. He played soccer growing up and at the U.S. Naval Academy. After graduating in 1977, he spent five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer. Then, he had a decision to make: law school or business school?Read More
Kurt Zwald T’12 is walking through an empty Fenway Park on a Tuesday evening. It’s not always this quiet at his workplace. “When we have 38,000 fans in the ballpark—that energy from the fans is really what invigorates me every day to come to work.” Zwald says.Read More
Fay Gosiengfiao T’11, VP of finance for the NBA, never set out to work in sports. It was never part of her master plan.Read More
Ask Kevin Demoff D'99, T'06 what he loves most about his job, and he’ll tell you that it’s that feeling he gets standing on the sidelines of an NFL game, watching 75,000 fans cheer at once.Read More
Growing up in North Carolina, Catie Griggs D’03, T’09 was a goalkeeper for her soccer team. She loved the sport but she never imagined that one day, she’d have a career on the business side of professional soccer.Read More
Marketing a Disruptive Brand
Twitch is a live streaming platform with a growing global brand and two Tuck alumni, Kate Jhaveri T’03 and Michael Aragon T’01, are leading marketing and innovation.Read More
For Tom Christie T’85, the COO of Showtime, show business has been the proving ground for an unforgettable lesson from Tuck.Read More
David Chemerow D'73, T'75 uses big data to watch what you’re watching.Read More
Disruption doesn’t scare Roger Lynch T’95. Since leaving Tuck, he has headed three industry-changing companies and continues to innovate at the intersection of media, technology, and developing new markets.Read More
As general manager, North America soccer for Nike, Andrea Perez T’08 is sharing the transformative power of athletics with anyone who has ever wanted the opportunity to play. Just like she did.Read More
On Influencing Company Culture
In his six seasons as executive vice president and chief human resources officer for the National Football League, Robert Gulliver T’97 has helped manage the NFL through some major cultural shifts.Read More
After a successful career in everything from finance to manufacturing, Gene Hornsby T'73 is now the president of the Firebirds, a Cape Cod Baseball League team.Read More
Eduardo Pokorny T'01 Pokorny is the newly appointed chief financial officer for the Spanish-speaking businesses of ESPN Latin America.Read More