Alumni Stories – Net Connections

Photo of two GBC alumni seated at a desk

Jonathan Chang has a job that makes him the envy of basketball lovers everywhere. “Basketball has always been a huge part of my life,” he says. “I currently work in the Marketing and Events department of NBA Canada, where we run national youth programs such as NBA Hoop it Up 3-on-3 and NBA Jam Session. So, yes, you could say this is my dream job!”

Jonathan enrolled in George Brown College’s Sport and Event Marketing (Post-Graduate) program in 1999, focused on building a career around his extensive knowledge and love of the game. “I liked that George Brown had professors with sports marketing industry experience,” he explains. “And the program provided internship opportunities which were crucial for getting my first break.”

Jonathan was hired as an intern – and then in a full-time role following his graduation in 2000 – by Dan MacKenzie, another graduate of the Sport and Event Marketing program who is currently Vice President & General Manager at NBA Canada.

“This business can be tough to break into, so it’s great to be able to provide a doorway,” explains Dan, who graduated from the program in 1997. “But the benefits work both ways because recent Sport & Event Marketing graduates are ready to contribute.” Having hired three other George Brown students on co-op placements, both Dan and Jonathan have a similar outlook on the value of staying connected to fellow George Brown alumni. “It was a friend at the College who first recommended the program, and the contacts I made among my classmates really helped me develop my career,” says Dan. “I’m happy I can give back and keep building that network.”

Jonathan concurs. “I think Dan and I share a motivation to mentor current George Brown students looking to enter the sports marketing field,” he says. “We want to encourage the next generation that’s coming through, and I’m not sure if non-George Brown College grads always feel that responsibility. For me there’s no question, George Brown helped me carve a path into a profession like no other, and I’ll always be grateful for that.