Torrens University's Partnership with Penrith Panthers and the Benefits to Students

Jeremy standing in front of Penrith Panthers wall

Penrith Panthers & Torrens University have created a pathway for excelling students to gain first-hand experience within the dynamic sports industry, with a view for paid employment as an ultimate goal.

1. Introduce yourself: where you’re from, a bit about your background, you role with the Panthers and how you came to be there

My name is Jeremy Tuite and I oversee the Commercial Partnerships portfolio at the Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club. I’ve been with the Panthers for 6.5 years now and worked my way through the ranks from an Intern all the way through to a Department head, overseeing two of the key commercial pillars of the Football club.

2. What is your relationship to sport, are you a player or a fan? Who are your favourite clubs?

I play soccer socially with friends on the weekend and am also a pretty passionate sports fan. Working within the four walls of the Panthers organisation makes it pretty hard to go for anyone else in the NRL but the Panthers!

3. Some Torrens University students have recently completed work placements or been employed into roles with the Panthers. I have heard there are at least two.  Can you tell us a bit about that program, how it came about, and the relationship between Torrens Uni and the Panthers? 

The greatest component of the Panthers & Torrens Education Partnership is that together we have created a pathway for excelling university students to gain first-hand experience within the dynamic sports industry, with a view for paid employment as the ultimate goal. Within a COVID affected 2021, Panthers were still able to get three (3) Torrens students exposure within the Panthers organisation, two of which have taken on paid employment positions.

4. Who are some of the students you recently employed, and into what roles?

Jack Pellegrini & Rebecca Kos have recently started within the Panthers Football Membership Department, servicing our ever-growing member-base as we approach 2022.In addition to this, Hemal Sheth is in the closing stages of his 200 hour industry placement and has been working within the Panthers Partnerships & Merchandise Departments. 

5. What were you looking for in these students, when you chose to hire them? Did they have any outstanding qualities that made them stand out from the pack?

Firstly, a passion for the sports industry which overlaps with Torrens degrees in either the Health or Business faculty space. Secondly, a willingness to learn and an interest in working across multiple business functions. The benefit of working within the sports industry is that sporting clubs are usually quite flat structured, so employees will gain a hands-on, diverse skill-set by working across differing areas of business.

6. What do the students actually do every day in these roles, and how have the students been going in their new roles so far? 

At present, the Membership Department is solely focused on leveraging off the success of the Panthers NRL team and renewing 2021 members into 2022 commitments with the club. In addition to this, the Membership team are also sourcing new member opportunities which will ensure that our membership base continues on its upward trajectory.

7. What is something that you love about your role at the Panthers?

As an extremely flat-structured business, Panthers provides a really strong platform for its employees to gain valuable experience across multiple business functions of the organisation very quickly. This means that our employees gain diverse skill-sets and thorough understandings of the various departments within our administrative team, which all-in-all contributes tangible outcomes towards the success of the Panthers Football program.

8. What does it take to be a really great Sports/Administrator manager, in your opinion? 

Honesty, transparency and a willingness to collaborate with your colleagues and partners.

9. Do you have any advice for aspiring sports managers/administrators who want to work in the industry or for a club like yours? 

Immerse yourselves in the sporting clubs/bodies/initiatives that you’re currently gaining experience from, because the powers that be will notice your care, commitment and passion for your role and will do anything within their control to retain the right people to take their organisations forward. 

10. Do you think it’s important for industry players like the Panthers to have relationships with universities, and why?

Absolutely important. The Panthers organisation relies heavily on Torrens University to provide its excelling students to our football club to help the business move forward and achieve sustainable success. 

In addition to this, the Panthers administrative team have largely all come from undergraduate University backgrounds and have worked their way from the bottom of the org structure, nearly all the way to the top too.

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