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Todd "Parney" Parnell
Major: Physical Education
General Manager, Altoona Curve
Choosing a Major
Taking a step toward fulfilling his dream of playing college basketball and becoming a coach, Todd "Parney" Parnell declared a major in physical education. Progression in this field of study kindled an interest in the business aspect of sports, which prompted his decision to add a minor in business.
The Messiah Experience
When reflecting on Messiah College life, Parney sums it up with simplicity: “I loved my time there.” He took an active part in campus life by joining the basketball team and becoming the sports editor for The Swinging Bridge. He also greatly enjoyed the friendships he established with his schoolmates during his four years as an undergraduate. “The stability of the college experience at Messiah allowed me to be more grounded,” he concludes.
Career Center & Internship Center Experience
Impressed with the quality of services he received at both the Internship Center and the Career Center, Parney speaks highly of both offices. “Everyone was always helpful at Messiah no matter what,” he asserts, “That is the major difference between there and the ‘real world’…” Through the helpful guidance he received from the Internship Center, he obtained an invaluable internship at WHTM TV 27 in the sports department.
The skills developed while enrolled as a student at Messiah were not difficult for Parney to apply to his current occupation: “The combination of sports and business creates the need for a unique skills package,” he says, as he explains the strengths learned in the classroom, “It is a whole lot of people dealing, a whole lot of listening and making decisions based upon what people are telling you, and a whole bunch of putting your nose to the grindstone and working long hard hours.” There were lessons to be learned off-campus as well. According to Parney, the experience at his internship was “a key bridge from college to a successful profession.”
What to Do Next
Parney’s next step after graduation was provided by his internship at WHTM TV 27. He seized an opportunity to join the ownership group of the Hershey Impact, a professional soccer team in the American Indoor Soccer Association, and served as the director of public relations for this organization.
Networking & Job Hunting
Throughout his educational experience, Parney has reaped the benefits of effective networking. The relationships he has forged proved invaluable as he embarked upon the job hunting process. At Messiah, his academic adviser provided guidance and timely advice, and they remain “close friends to this day.” Networking with the staff at the Internship Center at Messiah provided him with a position at WHTM TV 27, where he was able to establish the contacts that led to his first career opportunity after college. He indicates that “there were many others as well” who were there to nudge him gently in the right direction – toward the career of his dreams.
Profile by Brianna Davidson, Summer 2005