Chelsea Saunders ’12 raced into her dream job after graduating from the College, which is especially appropriate considering her dream job is with NASCAR. She started out in the motorsports industry shortly after receiving her international business degree. Saunders worked her way up within the industry, making fortuitous professional connections along the way, before signing on with NASCAR’s media group as a digital marketing coordinator. Learn about her fast-paced job in this Q&A!


Saunders ’12 at the Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

Q: What is your position title and what are your responsibilities?

A: I’m a Digital Marketing Coordinator for NASCAR. As part of NASCAR’s Media Group, I focus on database growth, emails, and Google campaigns, as well as working with other NASCAR Digital Media teams (like editorial, operations, mobile apps, social, ad services, etc.) regularly to give the 28 NASCAR race tracks exposure.

Q: What is a typical day like in your job?

A: I work with the race tracks and the groups within our Digital Media team daily to ensure that everyone’s needs are being met and goals are being achieved. I help promote NASCAR campaigns and products, as well as increase track exposure through NASCAR’s digital channels. For example, right now, we are preparing for NASCAR’s version of the playoffs – The Chase. For The Chase, I’m working with our Series Marketing team, the 10 tracks in The Chase, their digital agencies, Google and our Social Media Team to execute a broad Digital Chase Campaign. Our goals are to increase awareness of The Chase in the tracks’ local markets and encourage ticket sales – and that’s only one piece of what our digital marketing team is doing to support The Chase.

Q: What do you like most about your position?

A: I love working with so many different groups of people. Our industry is rather complex with the numerous stakeholders involved (tracks, drivers, teams, sanctioning body, partners, etc.). Even so, we are all working together to make the industry as strong and successful as possible. Playing a role in such a big picture is gratifying.

Q: How did you get involved in NASCAR?


She’s off to the races!

A: I met a lot of people in my previous roles, which were also within the motorsports industry, and always worked hard. That combination helped this opportunity with NASCAR become a reality. I’ve been working on/off and part time/full time since 2007 in the industry (Daytona International Speedway, International Speedway Corporation and now NASCAR), and can’t thank the people who’ve taken chances on me along the way enough.

Q: How did you find out about this position and what was the interview process like?

A: Actually, before I interviewed I had the opportunity to speak with some talented staff members at NASCAR who really opened the doors for me. I visited Charlotte, N.C. for a formal interview not long after that and met with maybe seven different NASCAR Media Group team members, over two days. The experience was a bit nerve-racking, but I think most interviews are that way!

Q: Where do you hope to go from here in your career?


NASCAR’s Daytona race track.

A: NASCAR is a sport that I have grown up around and to see the sport be successful is important to me. That said, there is no telling who I will meet, what doors will open down the road and where my career will go next. I think a little uncertainty is okay. If you have a strict path, and something doesn’t go your way, I think it’s harder to get back on track. Being open to new opportunities and willing to work with new, different people and companies is important to career growth (and personal growth for that matter).

Q: How did the College help prepare you for this job?

A: I studied International Business at the College. In my classes we were taught in depth how different cultural backgrounds can affect business operations and success. NASCAR is expanding our market to a more diverse and younger demographics, and the International Business degree certainly helps with this.

Also, we did a number of team projects in school, which always brought together a group of people with various work habits, thought processes, and views. The work world is no different, but if you can learn how to communicate with other types of people, you’ll find work much easier and more productive.

Q: What advice would you give to current students?

A: Never stop exploring and trying new experiences! Just because you’re not a professional in one area or aspect of life, doesn’t mean you can’t try it and enjoy it. Also, don’t stress too much or you’ll miss out on the small treasures that can bring simple happiness.