Student Spotlight: Candace Pacheco

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Candace Pacheco at her internship at the Eastern College Atlhetic Conference Headquarters. The internship is one of many accomplishments that will help give her an edge while looking for employment after graduation.

Bethany College senior Candace Pacheco was recently announced as winner of the Bill Esposito Award, which is presented yearly by the Eastern College Athletic Conference Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA).

The organization considers nominees from all ECAC schools, from Division I to Division III, and winning this prestigious award has already opened doors for the Fall River, Mass., native.

“Right now I am actively pursuing a job upon graduation in athletic communications, and this award has definitely affected my networking in a positive way,” she said, adding that she’s already been contacted by schools interested in what she has to offer.

Candace said she’s always been interested in writing and sports, so a major that combined the two was an obvious choice.

“I began searching jobs in high school in the industry and looked at their requirements because, at the time, I had no idea a sports communication major existed,” she said. “When I began searching colleges for a comparable major, Bethany was at the top of the list.”

Bethany’s Communications and Media Arts major with a Sports Communications track provided every aspect Candace wanted to focus on in the field, she said. But she's doing more than studying. Candace is a student intern for the Director of Athletics and Recreation, a member and past president of the sorority Phi Mu, and a member of the Bethany College softball team.

When she’s not on the diamond, she’s in the press box working other athletic events – and those long hours paid off. Last summer Candace landed a big internship with the ECAC.

“If I wasn't working for Bethany's sports information department for so long it probably wouldn't have happened,” she said. “Bethany was hosting the ECAC South Region Volleyball Tournament in the fall of 2012, and I was the primary contact for the tournament. ECAC sent their Championships Representative.

“After working alongside the ECAC Rep for the tournament, I inquired afterward about the possibility of completing an undergraduate internship. Ironically, hosting that day-long tournament here for volleyball basically became an on-the-job interview.”

The sports information experience she’s had, plus her internship and Esposito Award make her a strong candidate for a job in the field after graduation. She’ll be headed to New York for the ECAC-SIDA award banquet in June, and only time will tell where her accomplishments will take her next.