Sutton Derr
Account Executive in Group Sales & Hospitality, San Diego Padres, San Diego, California
Sutton Derr

Good sport

Sutton has loved sports his whole life, so when it came time to choose a career path, the decision was easy. The opportunity to play baseball at the college level and to go to work for a professional sports organization after college led him to major in sport management at NWC.

Why did you choose Northwestern?
I wanted to attend a faith-centered school that would also challenge me academically—and I wanted to play baseball.

What did you most appreciate about Northwestern’s faculty?
The faculty were always available and were there for us even if we just needed to talk. They created a learning environment tailored to all different types of students, which allowed us to identify what we loved and helped us to grow.

What are some of your favorite memories from your time at NWC?
I loved living in North Suites, taking road trips to national parks for fall break, and traveling with the baseball team. I had an awesome experience playing baseball for Coach Wede. I was taught how to handle adversity and how to become a better man, on and off the field. I began primarily as a pitcher and role player and then became the starting center fielder for my junior and senior years. I made so many lifelong friends.

How well did Northwestern prepare you for your career after graduation?
Very well. Northwestern did a really good job challenging us inside and outside of the classroom. I learned a lot from taking courses that were not specifically related to my major. And the different concentrations in the sport management program allowed me to take classes I loved—and prepared me for whatever I wanted to do after college. 

What are your main roles with the Padres organization?
My main job is inside ticket sales. We get a chance to do everything, from selling Padres season tickets to assisting customers with single-game ticket purchases. We make calls every day to sell season tickets, suites and group tickets. Inside sales is considered full-menu, which means we sell everything the organization offers. This role is used to develop and grow our skillset, to carry us into our next role with the organization.

What are your career goals?
I would love to eventually work in marketing or in community relations for a professional sports team.

In what ways did you grow in your faith at Northwestern?
I grew in my relationships with people. In the dorm, I was surrounded by people who were there to support me in the best times and the worst times. I learned how to be vulnerable and to open up with people I trust. This led to many conversations that helped me figure out what I believe and why I believe the things I do. I also learned that I have leadership skills and that involving myself in ministry pushes me to make connections in other people’s lives. God created us to live in community. We all go through tough times, but we have to know that we are not alone.