Editor's note: Intern Spotlight is a Ball State Daily News series profiling Ball State students and their summer internships. If you have any suggestions as to who we should feature next, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It might not be the Chicago Cubs, but for one Ball State senior, it might be one step closer to Wrigley Field.
Sarah Kendall, sports administration major, is working as a stadium operations intern at Principal Park, the home field of the Minor League Baseball team Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Part of motivation for getting hired with Iowa would be getting affiliated with the Cubs organization,” Kendall said about her internship hoping to someday end up with the Chicago Cubs — her current employer’s Major League Baseball affiliation.
At the beginning of the fall semester, she applied for 37 different internships within the sporting industry in about a month. After receiving information about her current internship from her adviser, she sent in her application, had a phone interview and landed the internship.
“I’m a huge baseball fan that’s kind of what drew me into wanting to work in baseball,” Kendall said. “My best memories are associated with sports. So, I was just hoping to be able to work in sports and help people create those memories that I hold so dearly to.”
While it does help to have an interest in baseball it’s not required, said Nic Peters, stadium operations manager with the Iowa Cubs. Having an interest in the game “gives an idea of what they are doing and why fans love the games so much.”
Kendall works both on game days and non-game days, going to work as early as 6-7 a.m. on game days. She gets to work with all entities in the stadium — catering, parking, tours etc. Closer to game time the interns work promotions — selling their programs and gear and entertaining the attendees with activities.
“It’s a very fast-paced environment which is what I really enjoy,” she said.
Non game days, she said, are a little more relaxed when interns do what needs to be done largely involving cleaning and maintenance of the stadium.
“I think one thing I would take away the most is how interwoven the department can be,” Kendall said contrasting it with a previous internship where she could only work with the marketing team. “Getting to meet and interact with a lot of people and not just staying in my little bubble is really nice.”
Peters said some other stadium internships might not offer as in depth of an opportunity as the Iowa Cubs.
“What we offer here is just the full package when it comes to operations internships,” he said. “Here we’re able to give you a total look at everything there is that goes on here.”
Peters said a lot of interns move on to sales and marketing jobs later on and don’t stay in stadium operations, but they still get a good background in the area.
“We have quite a few interns each year that have no operations background, but get into operations just to get an idea of what operations is and how it’s run, and if they do or don’t like it and go from there,” he said.
Managing a big staff with very few managers can be a difficult task. Hence, Peters said they look for interns with a “go-getter personality.”
“We rely on those interns that can see a problem and go ahead and fix it on their own — just kind of identify things that might need looked at before we can get to those,” he said.