Jonathan Gandolf knew exactly what he wanted when he came to Purdue. And now he’s preparing to do something different.
Following his graduation in May, Jonathan will start work with ExactTarget, an interactive marketing software company based in Indianapolis. It’s a departure from the sports industry, his originally intended field.
“When I was a senior in high school, I got an internship with Pacers Sports & Entertainment,” says Jonathan, who hails from Greenwood, Indiana. “I worked in areas like community relations, game operations and media relations. When I started college, I knew I was going to focus on a career in sports management.”
Jonathan began working in the Purdue Sports Information area as a freshman. He worked with several sports, served as editor of the newsletter for the local chapter of the National Football Foundation, and had the opportunity to interact with one of the Krannert School’s most famous graduates—New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
He also was the athletics chair for the Mortar Board Honor Society, helping organize that group’s tournament featuring the nationally ranked Purdue women’s volleyball team. Even his study abroad experience at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, had a sports angle, as he worked at the Macquarie Sports and Aquatic Centre.
But at the start of his junior year, Jonathan got wind of another opportunity. He heard students in the School of Management Council, where he served as president, talk about an exciting new company.
The conversations piqued his interest, and led him to talk with ExactTarget representatives on campus at the School of Management Employers Forum that fall.
“I was impressed by their culture,” Jonathan says. “I found them to be fast-paced, entrepreneurial and open to creativity.”
He accepted an internship with the company, serving on its outbound marketing team. At the end of his internship, he presented the ExactTarget management team with a 120-page deliverable, summarizing the company’s performance in each region and state it serves.
Jonathan is waiting to hear what his first assignment with ExactTarget will be. And he’s not ruling out a return someday to the sports world. But for now, he’s excited about his first opportunity.
“This is a perfect fit for me,” he says. “I can’t wait to get started.”