25 Faces 25 Years: Rebecca Goodman
By Daaimah S. Etheridge
Photo by Charles Shan Cerrone ’13
January 4, 2017
“On my first night of co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers, my boss led me into the Sixers locker room where the media was gathered,” recalls communication alumna Rebecca Goodman. “He handed me a tape recorder and said, ‘In five minutes, these reporters will be interviewing Allen Iverson. I need you to go in there and record everything he says.’
“I grew up reading the Daily News sports section and watching Comcast SportsNet every day,” Goodman adds, “and there I was, standing in front of Allen Iverson with Phil Jasner on my right and Dei Lynam on my left. In that moment, I realized that this is how stories get told.”
Goodman, now the director of public relations for Comcast Spectacor, vividly remembers her first visit to Drexel, long before she stood in front of the Sixers.
“My twin sister and I toured the campus during an Accepted Students Day. It was the only school we toured,” she says. “My initial impression was that the school was incredibly forward-thinking and technologically advanced. We were blown away.”
Both sisters ended up matriculating to Drexel and both began working toward degrees in education. But during Goodman’s freshman year, a course with communication professor Allan Stegeman — Mass Media and Society — made her reconsider.
“It was exciting listening to Professor Stegeman’s lectures,” Goodman says. “We talked about gatekeeping and how the news is generated. We talked about how we, as a society, come to know what we know about world events. I realized that communication majors could do anything with that knowledge. There were opportunities to make a real impact with that degree.”
Goodman decided to change her major and enrolled in the College’s Accelerated BS/MS in Communication program. Her ambition and fascination with the field soon led to her co-op with the Sixers.
“Networking is key,” Goodman says. “I landed my co-op through a summer camp where I was a camp counselor. One of the children’s fathers was the head of public relations for the Sixers. I walked up to him one day and told him about my co-op requirement. I asked if I could work with the Sixers, and he said yes!”
After her co-op ended, Goodman found herself working with the team’s game-night public relations team while attending Drexel as a full-time student. She also assisted with the Sixers’ game-day publication Drive Magazine, and started going to practices to interview the players.
She did a second three-month co-op at Comcast Corporation and a third co-op with the Sixers again. After her fourth year at Drexel, a coordinator position opened up in the Sixers’ public relations department.
“It was a hard decision because I wasn’t done with school yet, and it was really important to my family that I finish my degree,” says Goodman. “I promised my parents that if I got the job, I would finish my degree no matter what.”
Goodman landed the job and started working during the day and attending school at night. In 2011, she graduated with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Following her stint with the Sixers, Goodman worked as a publicist for the Philadelphia Flyers before moving on to her current position at Comcast Spectacor, where she oversees public relations for all events at the Wells Fargo Center. In the evenings, she gives back by teaching a communication course at Drexel called Publicity and Promotion.
“I tell my students that they are their best advocates,” says Goodman. “To get that awesome co-op, you may need to pick up the phone or send an email. My students have some of the most incredible opportunities: one completed co-ops at both Harper’s Bazaar and Marc Jacobs. Another worked for the United Nations. I’m blown away by what they have accomplished!”
This article originally appeared in the College of Arts and Sciences' Ask magazine feature story, "25 Faces, 25 Years." For more Ask stories, visit askmagazine.org.