An Alumnus on ‘Fire’
Dan Lobring, 34, is the senior director of communications for the Chicago Fire. Lobring graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a fine arts minor.
Compass: What makes Loyola stand out amongst other universities?
Dan Lobring: What I liked about Loyola was that the role it plays in the city itself is pretty unique in both the Rogers Park and downtown campuses. When people describe campus experiences at other schools, it seems like people never leave the campus itself. I think when people come to Loyola Chicago, the city is at your disposal so you better take advantage of it. Rogers Park is historically one of the most diverse parts of the city–It’s a very global and real experience. Beyond that, I think the Jesuit values with the school, the connection with the community and the world class education are hard to find.
Compass: What are some of your favorite memories at Loyola?
DL: I used to play in bands a little bit, and we got to play at Loyolapalooza a couple times. Screech from Saved by the Bell was the MC one year and he visited Loyolapalooza and I believe OK Go was the band we played with that year. Meeting OK Go and Dustin Diamond and getting to play at Gentile Center; it was just pretty surreal. Those are just kind of bizarre, fun college experiences.
C: When did you find your first job?
DL: When I graduated in 2001, it was a pretty horrible economic climate. I did a full time, paid internship when I graduated at a PR firm called McPhilimy Associates. I got hired full-time after three months. Cheryl McPhilimy is actually a professor at Loyola currently. She still runs her agency, and she teaches which is kind of cool.
Compass: How did you end up with the Chicago Fire?
DL: I worked at a sports marketing agency for the past six years and by the time I finished I was running the PR department there. So it was a good combination of PR and sports and marketing, and the Fire opportunity came about. It was a good extension and opportunity to sort of join the other side. In the PR world I’ve always been on the agency side, so it’s cool to be able to join a team.
Compass: What does your typical day look like?
DL: No day is typical in the PR world; but I think that’s what people like about it. The team usually trains every day. We have beat reporters and bloggers and media that come out for training and we’ll facilitate interviews with the coach and the players. We put news out and comment on stories on different websites or social media channels. It is a lot of just managing a constant flow of communication for our team and for our fans and the city.
Compass: How did Loyola prepare you for a career?
DL: When I was at Loyola, I did a couple internships, which is a part of the curriculum. When you’re out of school, the more work experience the better. I think the best part of going to Loyola is not only the well-rounded educational standpoint, but the ability to communicate, write, present, tell a story, is very critical in anything you do. Even if you don’t work in communication, employers are attracted to people who have those skills. Loyola, from a liberal arts background and a communication background, kind of gives people the tools to do whatever they want.
Compass: Do you still keep in touch with any old professors?
DL: When I worked for McPhilimy Associates, we actually worked with John Slania, [program director for the SOC Journalism program] quite a bit because we had clients in manufacturing and sort of the more business beat that he would be writing about. I still have contacts from people who would be working at Crain’s today through him.
Compass: What are the benefits of attending a university in Chicago?
DL: Chicago is an interesting sort of melting pot. I think if employers see a Chicago school they know you might have more connections within the city. Especially with communications and journalism. It helps to have a good networking base.