Internships lead grad to launch career

Headshot of Zach Vaji in business attire Recent CPASS graduate Zachery Vaji embodies the meaning of determination as a Mountaineer by taking the initiative to make his goals a reality.

Vaji, from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, enrolled at WVU in 2012 and by August, 2015 he had earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management. He continued his education and graduated with a master’s degree in sport management in August 2016.

“During my time at CPASS I learned the necessary skills to one day achieve my goals. I was able to create relationships with my professors that helped give me guidance in my field,” said Vaji, 23.

Vaji’s future career goal is to work with events and operations for Division I athletic departments. During his education, he gained hands-on experience with both professional and collegiate athletic programs. 

Vaji interned as a student worker for the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics while obtaining his undergraduate degree. Vaji helped in event management and operations for men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. He worked as an event manager for men’s soccer and served as visiting team host for football, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s basketball.

“I benefitted from my internship with WVU by learning the process of running a major Division I athletic event,” said Vaji.

Following his internship experience at WVU Vaji interned for the West Virginia Black Bears, a minor league baseball team, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a professional soccer team.

“While I was with the Riverhounds I worked closely with their general manager and experienced the day-to-day operations of a professional soccer club. I assisted with event management while I was with them,” explained Vaji. Vaji said that one of the best experiences he had was the opportunity to help with game management for the International Champions Cup soccer game at Heinz Field.

Vaji is now an athletic events and operations intern at Harvard University.

“I help to oversee all external events including creating contracts and invoices and organize practice and contest scheduling for all varsity sports at Harvard,” said Vaji. This fall, Vaji acts as the main event manager for both men’s and women’s soccer at Harvard. 


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