CCPA Alumna Manages NFL Teams’ Social Media Channels

When Sana Merchant-Rupani graduated from SMU with degrees in CCPA and Sports Management, she dreamed of starting her professional journey in New York City. Even though her first full-time job was in Dallas working for public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, she quickly transferred to the firm’s NYC office.

“It was incredible because I got to experience not only a lot of the public affairs clients they had based out of Texas but also a lot of their brand and consumer clients,” Sana said.

After Burson-Marsteller, Sana worked for Empire State Realty Trust in their digital marketing and public relations department. There she helped manage social media for the company’s U.S. and Chinese agencies and managed two digital public relations teams.

“No one really had the ownership of social media at the time and my boss gave me the opportunity to do that,” Sana said.  “We were working through celebrity visits and appearances at the building and promoting the Lighting Partner Program.”

Sana Merchant-Rupani Heads to the NFL

Sana then joined the NFL, where she is the director of club social strategy. In this role, she advises each of the league’s 32 clubs on their social media strategy. She said she applies lessons learned from her time as a CCPA student to her job with the NFL. 

“There are a lot of different skill sets I learned as a CCPA student, such as public speaking, that have really stuck with me throughout my career,” Sana said. “The faculty and staff really care about your career and experience and making sure that you get the most out of the program.”

Sana’s advice for upcoming CCPA graduates includes consistently applying for jobs and internships, and making sure their resumes are tailored specifically to each job they apply for. 

“Think about what the right fit is for you and what you want, and then apply for jobs,” Sana said. “Take chances, experience everything, and then figure out what you’re good at and what your interests are as you keep growing.”

Overall, Sana encourages CCPA students to stay curious and learn as much as they can from their professors and courses in the department. Connect and stay connected.

“There’s a lot you can get out of the program, so ask a lot of questions and get involved,” Sana said. “I loved my SMU experience and can’t say enough great things about Meadows and the CCPA department.”