Amy Hebert '10, a Sport Management major and Business Administration minor from Keene, N.H., interned this summer with the Portland Sea Dogs in Portland, Maine. The Sea Dogs are a family-oriented Minor League baseball team affiliated with the Boston Red Sox. Hebert's early initiative she interviewed for the internship in November helped her secure a paid, professional preparation experience that has already pointed her in new directions and helped her grow.
On campus, Hebert is a member of the women's basketball team, the Exercise and Sport Sciences Club, the Wesson Honors Program, and intramural soccer and floor hockey. The internship was a departure from Hebert's previous summer experiences, which includes working as a camp counselor and facility supervisor at the Keene State College recreation center.
Why did you choose this internship?
I thought about applying for an internship with the Sea Dogs when my family went to a game last summer. We used to go every summer, and I thought it'd be great to work in a city with a minor league team to get a different, well-rounded internship experience.
To apply, I sent a cover letter and resume, responses to a questionnaire and three references. The Sea Dogs contacted me for an interview in November, and in December I accepted their offer to work for them.
What skills are required for this internship and what are your responsibilities?
The internship was for juniors and seniors who wanted to pursue a career in the sport industry. Requirements included computer literacy, strong communication and customer service skills, the ability to multitask with little supervision and work long hours, a friendly personality and a passion for the game. They also wanted their intern to be goal oriented and a team player.
My responsibilities involve handling all aspects of sales, including group sales (developing leads, selling and maintaining accounts); assisting in office duties like producing reports and updating the Slugger sign; assisting with stadium preparation for home games and Kid's Club duties; and coordinating all aspects of the season ticket exchange program (ensuring all returns are processed and accounts are correctly credited). To do all this I had to use various software programs related to ticket sales and develop strong customer service skills. I also increased my knowledge of promotions by assisting in game-day promotions, and developing, selling and executing a promotional night.
Have your course work and studies helped prepare you for this job?
My course work and studies definitely helped prepare me for this job, as did having a basic understanding of the sport industry, the business world, marketing and promotions. Professor Tony Quinn's Business Communication class has been one of the most helpful; in it, we learned about interviewing skills, verbal and written communication, and other important aspects of surviving the workforce.
What have you enjoyed most, and what have you found most challenging about your internship?
I love my job! I enjoy working with the public, watching the baseball games and making people happy. I love the atmosphere here, especially before and during games. Although it gets super busy, there's an excitement that is contagious.
The most challenging aspect of this internship was starting later than most of the interns for a while I was behind in knowledge about the operations of the organization. My first day here I was nervous I was excited to start but terrified of making mistakes. The worst time was probably back in March and April when I was only working weekends and kept making little mistakes. It was frustrating because my training was sporadic and mostly came when questions arose, so I didn't feel confident a lot of the time. Once I started working full-time in May, I really got to know the personnel and the operations better, so I started enjoying my job a lot more.
My best day is every day that I do all that I can to ensure that I carry out my responsibilities, make the customers happy and point people in the right direction when I do not have the answer for them.
What have you learned and what skills have you developed during your internship?
I have learned that customer service is a huge part of this organization. We are always dealing with customers and fans, and it is our job to ensure their satisfaction in order to be the most successful. I have learned that crises arise every day and that the only way to get through them is to stay calm, think of all the possible solutions, and be optimistic. I have definitely developed my customer service skills, especially my verbal skills.
What has this experience taught you about yourself and your field of study?
I have learned that I love working in the sport industry and do not mind stressful, busy times. I enjoy crises because I like trying to work through the challenges and make the most of them. I have learned that connections, with anyone and everyone, are huge in moving up the ladder in any industry. And, I have learned that I cannot be shy or timid when working with customers; it is best to be assertive, professional, honest and consistent when working with the public.
Please share one or two memorable experiences from your internship.
When we have rain outs at the stadium, the ticket office gets bombarded. The telephones are constantly ringing, everyone in the office is working as fast as they can, and the people in the stadium line up at our window to exchange their tickets for future games. I love the rush and the stress of the situation.
Working with the other interns and front office staff has been great. In the spring, all the interns got together at a restaurant to meet each other and hang out outside the office. It was great to get to know everyone. We also have staff dinners during the summer one was at a nice hotel in Portland and another will be at the owner's house. I love hanging out with everyone working here and having fun outside the office. It definitely makes the office more comfortable and relaxed.
Will this internship confirm or alter your career plans?
I never thought that I'd be ready to graduate, but now I can't wait to start working. I enjoy the sport industry immensely. I am not sure if I want to work in an educational, recreational or professional setting, but I am sure I'll be happy in any area of the sport industry.
Do you think that Colby-Sawyer's requirement of completing an internship is beneficial?
Definitely! It is one of the most, if not the most, important requirement! I also believe that everyone should complete at least two internships it's important to get as much experience as possible. I also recommend living on one's own and away from home to get more of a personal experience as well.