HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 7, 2023 – High Point University welcomed Charlie Freeman, HPU’s Sports Business Executive in Residence and president for business operations for the Orlando Magic, to mentor HPU students on Feb. 2.
During his time on campus, Freeman spoke to sport management students about creating culture in the workplace, led a Q&A with exercise science majors, shared lunch with HPU Business Fellows and advised students during a Premier Life Skills Seminar on how to build career connections.
Freeman stressed the need for sales and public speaking skills, emphasized effective research before networking via job fairs, conferences and events and for follow-up afterward. He noted HPU’s position as The Premier Life Skills University, its access to global leaders and encouraged students to take advantage of their opportunities to connect with them.
“Right now, you are rookies, using an NBA example,” said Freeman. “I’m so glad to be here at this university where they stress getting these internships and skills. Your grades matter, but how well you manage these life skills is going to be equally as important. Chase your passion. If you do what you love, it’s not work.”
HPU student Anna Borovskiy, a junior sport management major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recorded a podcast with Freeman as part of the Access to Innovators Podcast series. Through Freeman, she learned key tips to find internships and to reach out to recruiters.
“He shared the idea of consistency in a way I haven’t heard before, reaching out to employers or recruiters multiple times if you haven’t heard back from them,” said Borovskiy. “But also making sure you research to find the best ways to communicate with organizations. It was great hearing about his personal journey within the Magic. In sports, it’s very rare that you stay within an organization for your whole tenure. From him starting as an entry-level intern and now being the president of business operations, it’s impressive to see all the routes he has taken.”
Business and communication students said Freeman’s interactive Q&A style allowed them to better understand the importance of building connections, said Amanda Melniczek, adjunct professor in the Phillips School of Business. She noted Freeman focused on the value of communication and job experience to learn which career you want and don’t want.
“A big part of Mr. Freeman’s message was encouraging students to listen to someone who has a wealth of experience working at a company, and ultimately getting their insight to start thinking about your own career,” said Melniczek. “It was helpful for students to hear Mr. Freeman encouraging them to start early, prepare, take advantage of what is here on campus, and find internships and opportunities.”
About Charlie Freeman:
Freeman started with the Magic in 1996 as a market research analyst for corporate sponsorship and broadcast sales. Through the years, he has held positions in business development, as the vice president of business development and strategy, the Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
He is responsible for the oversight and management of ticket sales, premium sales, client services, ticket operations, corporate partnerships, social responsibility, arena operations and marketing. In addition to mentoring HPU students, he was a featured guest on HPU President Nido Qubein’s PBS NC show “Side by Side with Nido Qubein.”