North Penn alum Maddie Herman returns as guest speaker


Sean Duffy

Maddie Herman (Class of 2011) revisits her bygone gym and hallways of North Penn High School on Friday to talk to students about being a leader in the community and how to excel your future.

Sports Management and Sports Marketing are rapidly growing fields and increasingly popular college majors. North Penn alumni Maddie Herman has learned a lot in her own pursuits in these fields.

Last Friday, Herman came into North Penn Leadership classes as a guest speaker for the students. Leadership class is a new addition to the North Penn courses, focusing on team building skills, goal setting, and having local leaders from the community come in to speak to students.

After graduating from North Penn in 2011, Herman has done major things in the sports industry, including working with Villanova, the Philadelphia 76ers, and now as an instructor at Gwynedd Mercy University.

Herman is currently a professor at Gwynedd Mercy University instructing on Sports Management. Attending East Stroudsburg University, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2015 and went on to work at Villanova University where she would supervise general activities in the athletic department with the fifty plus student staff.

Additionally, she was previously employed at GMercyU as a Team Faculty Mentor and also worked at the Wells Fargo Center with the 76ers as more of a corporate job helping make the games and events go smoothly.

On Friday, Herman spoke to students about her career and the struggles early on trying to make her dream possible in the sports industry, as well as her views on more experiential learning.

She reflected on her time with the 76ers and Villanova saying, “I built such networks there that helped me get to where I am today. And those experiences are such resume boosters, they gave me so much well-rounded experience, and they also taught me what I didn’t want to do and what I did want to do,” Herman said. “At Villanova, I really got to work with students closer and help them reach their sports goals. Like working in a fitness center, and developing leadership skills, you have to work more personally with them. So they both taught me really different things that I both need to be a sports management professor now. So I can use both the things that teach my students now what kind of skills they need because I’ve worked in both.”

There has undoubtedly been a lot of evolution in sports and how we view them today. Herman spoke about this saying, ”The sports marketing world has changed indefinitely, there’s so much more access to players, and the organization, so you can really get to know them better. And that helps build an even deeper connection with the teams and the players, which can then increase your brand loyalty to a player or a team. It just really has set a whole new bar for what essentially is sports marketing, and opens up so many other opportunities for the fans to get involved and see what’s really happening in a player or an organization’s world. It’s really cool.”

Talking about the North Penn staff she said, “The teachers here in North Penn are the literal best people that you’ll ever meet. And the best teachers, care so much about you. They care so much about North Penn…utilize them right, by asking them questions, they’re so here to help you. And take advantage of all extracurriculars, because North Penn is a really special place and a really special school.” She also believes in the sentiments of “work hard in silence, let success be your noise” and “take the work seriously, but not yourself”.

“What advice would I give? Take advantage of your peers, learn and get to know all your peers, you never know when you’ll utilize them in the future. Because your peers now are your network”, said Herman.

Herman also had some advice for those looking to make a name for themselves in the sports industry, saying ”Your peers now are your network, same in sports and take every opportunity there is even if you think you don’t want to do something. Sports sales are kind of like no one wants to do sales. But those skills you’re learning will translate to any avenue and sports industry. And when most people are looking for different people to take on different jobs and sports, they always start with salespeople because they have, like I said, the skills that will translate to almost anything. So network and use your network, take every opportunity, and work harder than everyone else, because you’re one of one thousand people that are majoring in sport management. So what are you doing to differentiate yourself?”

Herman tells students to “be your biggest advocate”. She has displayed what it truly means to be a North Penn Knight even after her days here and should continue to do so throughout her flourishing career.