Sophia Cucinotta, a rising senior at the College of Charleston, has always been into sports. It started in high school when she played soccer and ran track. That brought her to the College, where she is a member of the women’s track and field team. And, this summer, she has gotten the ultimate sports experience serving as the ticket and fan services intern for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team.
“I actually thought that I might play soccer in college,” says Cucinotta.
But when she was ready to apply to schools, she initially thought she wanted to be on the other side of the field and study exercise science. Since the College offered the major and aligned with her goals, plus her older sister Gianna Cucinotta ’22 was attending and running track and field for the school — it was an easy decision.
Once she was accepted, the younger Cucinotta joined the women’s track and field team, getting the opportunity to run with her sister for two years before Gianna graduated.
“It was an absolutely amazing opportunity,” she says.
While Cucinotta was still obsessed with sports, she started to rethink her major. She recalls talking to her first-year adviser about her hesitations with all her upcoming science courses.
“She suggested perhaps I switch to something different,” Cucinotta says. “Before I declared my major, I realized that I wanted to go more on the business side of sports, so when it was time, I declared as a marketing major.”
RELATED: Learn more about majoring in marketing at the College of Charleston.
That decision eventually lead her to a prized internship at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team.
As a lifelong Eagles fan, Cucinotta zeroed in on landing the internship when she came across the opportunity during her junior year. And thanks to her College of Charleston classes she felt prepared and confident to apply.
“Dr. Esta Shah‘s Consumer Behavior class helped me with my resume, cover letter and my LinkedIn profile,” says Cucinotta, “and professor John McGrath‘s Marketing Concepts class helped me with my LinkedIn profile as well as preparing for interviews and presentations.”
She applied in December 2022, but knew with the Eagles in the Super Bowl, she might not hear back until after the big game.
“As much as I was anticipating the Super Bowl, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear about the internship,” she says.
While Super Bowl LVII was an excruciating loss for the Eagles, Cucinotta won the position of the Eagles’ ticketing and fan services academic intern for the summer of 2023.
“It’s been a busy, busy summer so far,” she says. “I’ve been assisting with special events, organizing payments and helping with all aspects of ticketing operations and guest services.”
And she’s gotten to apply her skills from the classroom to her role with supporting and assisting Eagles fans.
“My marketing and business classes have prepared me for my internship with the Philadelphia Eagles by not only teaching me the principles of marketing, but also consumer behavior and customer relations,” says Cucinotta.
But she isn’t just sitting at a desk isolated from the team. She sees members of the team daily, even eating breakfast and lunch in the same facilities. And she gets to work with the players the most when they participate in community events.
“My favorite experience so far has been working alongside the players and the staff on a playground build,” she says. “We went to Henry W. Lawton Elementary School in northeast Philly to not only assemble a playground for them, but also paint a beautiful mural on the side of their school. That was a really cool experience for me to be able to give back to a community that supports the team on our wins and our losses, as well as being able to come together as a whole team — everyone from our quarterback to the interns. That was really meaningful for me, because as much as we’re here to win a Super Bowl and to win as many games as we can, we’re also here to give back to the community.”
And although the internship is winding down, Cucinotta is just gearing up.
“I look forward to finishing out the summer here, experiencing training camp and continuing to build relationships with the Philadelphia Eagles organization,” she says. “I hope to return to the Philadelphia Eagles family after graduation as an official employee.”