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Internship leads Alumnus to Yankees’ Inside Sales Team

Sport Management, Bachelor of Science

A lifelong New York Yankees fan, Joe Leva ’08CPS, draws on the knowledge he gained as a student at St. John’s University to further a rewarding career with one of the most successful franchises in all of sports.

A lifelong New York Yankees fan, Joe Leva ’08CPS, draws on the knowledge he gained as a student at St. John’s University to further a rewarding career with one of the most successful franchises in all of sports.

“Initially, I planned on focusing on legal studies at St. John’s,” said Leva, a native of Commack, NY. “Then I took a course in sport management and I was blessed to have some great teachers who really pushed me along and challenged me in different ways.”

Soon after he decided to focus on sport management, Leva joined the New York Yankees as an intern in 2006 and began working in the team’s box office in 2007. “At the ticket window, when everyone else was putting on their polo shirts, I was putting on a suit and tie,” he recalled. “I wanted to differentiate myself. When we had to make cold calls, I would make that many more calls than everyone else.” 

Leva stayed with the team after graduation, and today he is manager of inside sales. Though he graduated in 2008, he remains connected to both the University’s faculty and its students. “St. John’s has one of the better sport management programs in the country,” he said. “The sport management industry is changing, so the curriculum is changing, too. Professors are always inviting me to come in and talk to students about the business and different trends in the marketplace.”

Reflecting on his first days on the Queens campus, Leva remembers being in awe of the diversity of the University’s student body. “I walked in to the dorms and my roommate was from Nepal,” said Leva. “To a kid from Long Island, that was huge. I learned so much about different people and different cultures. It really was enthralling. I draw on that knowledge every day.”

While Leva majored in sport management, he feels that one of the most consequential courses he studied was theology. “It was incredibly enlightening to me,” he said. “Theology helped me expand my mind and taught me about the truly important things in life.”

Theology also helped Leva discover the virtues of leading a Vincentian life. “I learned about living my life with humility, helping others when presented with the opportunity,” said Leva, who is active in the Yankees’ various community outreach efforts. “Whether it’s painting a classroom or teaching a class, it’s important to appreciate what you have and to give back, too.”