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From Museums To MLSE Launchpad, Amanda Bellissimo Finds Her Career Niche

Amanda Bellissimo | Coordinator, Administration and Member Services | MLSE LaunchPad

In some capacity that (arts, history and culture) was the industry I wanted. Until...

Amanda Bellissimo

Coordinator, Administration and Member Services

MLSE LaunchPad

× The interview with Amanda Bellissimo was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as the Coordinator, Administration and Member Services of the MLSE LaunchPad.

My role focuses on two parts:

  1. The administration support that involves program and event scheduling, credit card reconciliation, general office tasks, supporting with invoices and vendors. I am the supervisor of the front desk team. Really any way I can support my colleagues with their work my role steps in.
  2. Member services! Here, I focus on onboarding new members, member database management, registration, and communication to members. It is very customer service based.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I start my morning at front desk checking in with my staff who is there. I usually like tidying up as I’m an neat freak [laughs]. From I start working on tasks that need my attention but you know something else always pops up. Once programming starts afterschool I turn my focus to going downstairs to be with our members and provide my staff with extra support. My mornings are full of work and my afternoons are play in a way. It’s the best part of my day is talking with our members about how they are doing, how was school today.

Take us through the realization of wanting to work in the sport industry.

My career path is pretty unique. I studied history for my undergrad and then Cultural and Museum Management post-grad. I worked at the Royal Ontario Museum, Scarborough Museum and Historica Canada because that is where I wanted to work was in culture and museums. Here’s a picture of me working back then.

In some capacity that was the industry I wanted. I had a year of self-discovery in 2018 when my contract ended at Historica Canada. I was back working part-time for the City of Toronto where I have worked at Claireville Day camp since I was 16.

With the City of Toronto, I started off as a leader than a coordinator. When I went back in 2018 after being away for 2 years I decided to take the administrator role. As I felt it was a better role for me that could open up doors as an administrator. As I was job searching that year I knew I wanted to work with youth. I decided that the industry I was in didn’t matter what mattered was working with youth. Every job I held even in the museum field was youth-focused and my experience working at camp was the reason I got those jobs. Where sports come into play in my life is I always played recreationally.

My parents put me in swimming, skating, gymnastic lessons. I was on the cheerleading team in high school. In my home my dad always has sports on and took my sister and me to baseball, basketball and hockey games. It worked out that my passion to work with youth leads me to find my job at LaunchPad.

What are some memorable experiences you have had thus far throughout your time at MLSE?

  1. My First Day! My first PA day at LaunchPad. The youth were the Hype Squad for the Team Up Challenge (MLSE Foundation big fundraising event). I went with a group of youth as a leader. It was like being at camp again.
  2. When the Larry OB came to LaunchPad.
  3. Co-Planning Family Holiday Party
    Co-planning our family holiday party. It was really special getting my family to see where I work.

Tell us about the transition between your job with the City of Toronto working in a Museum to working with MLSE in a very sport specific related job. Was the transition easy or difficult?

It’s very fast pace in sports and that is something I wasn’t really used to. But it wouldn’t say it was a difficult transition. A learning curve for sure but I’ve used my past experiences in a way that I can adapt them to sports in away and use them to my benefit.

Tell us about the importance of being able to offer sport to youth of all ages facing barriers in their life.

It is so important because we are giving them the chance to learn life skills through sports in a safe environment. We are giving them a space that they feel comfortable to come to, to learn and grow. In the year I’ve been at LaunchPad I have seen the growth in some of our members. How we are a family at LaunchPad this sense of community. Which shows how sports connects people.

What are five tips you would give to someone who wants to be successful in the sports industry?

  1. Network
    It’s important to make connections and get yourself noticed. Volunteering is a great way to get connected to an organization.
  2. Multi-Task Roles
    Do not focus on one specific job description keep your options open. In sports, there are so many different positions and you don’t know which one might be your in. Then from there, you can go after your dream job.
  3. Always Learn & Utilize Professional Development
    Professional development is important because there is always room for you to grow and learn new skills. Growing your skillset is valuable.
  4. Be A Team Player
    Be a team player I know it sounds cheesy but this is such a collaborative industry you are working with different depts.  that you should have that team mentality.
  5. Be You!
    Be you because at the end of the day being you is the best.

If you could be a super hero and have any power, what would it be and why?

My super power would be to super sonic speed so I can keep up with the youth at LaunchPad. They have so much energy!

Amanda Hope Amanda's Final Thoughts

After hearing about Amanda Bellissimo’s career path change to the sports industry, I was curious to learn more about how Amanda was able to combine her love for kids with her passion for sport to shape her career. The advice I take and that I hope that other sport professionals can take from this interview with Amanda is that “sport really brings people together” and in the end to simply just “be yourself” while working in the sport industry. She didn’t necessarily have a linear path, but her story just goes to show that everyone’s path is different and that you can attain that dream job you’ve always wanted with hard work and dedication. I also think that Amanda really shows just how important customer service and relations with your clients is and how youth is the future of sport. It was a pleasure doing this piece with you Amanda, all the best to you in your future endeavours! 

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