my internship experience

Malcolm Smith '08, a Business Administration & Sport Management double major from Pittsburgh, Penn., spent the summer after graduation as a marketing and administrative intern with the Princeton Rays Baseball Club in Princeton, West Virginia. The Princeton Rays are the rookie league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

This is not Smith's first internship; last summer he was a marketing representative intern with the Idaho Falls Chukars Baseball Club, and in 2006, he was an account executive intern with the Helena Brewers Chukars Baseball Club, both of the Pioneer League. At Colby-Sawyer, Smith played rugby and was involved with the Radio Club.

How did you find this internship opportunity?

I found this internship by calling and talking to Jim Holland about the team and the internship. This is a small team with only one full-time staff member, and it's located in the smallest town to have professional baseball.

The application process was fast; I had the initial interview, then mailed in my cover letter and resume. That was followed by the second interview, then I talked to some former interns, sent in my references and was offered the internship. All of that happened within a month. Princeton is about five hours from my home but Jim Holland was able to secure housing for me.

What were your most important duties and responsibilities as an intern?

My main duties were helping with the daily activities and the tasks to help get ready for game day. The most important responsibility that I and the other interns had was making sure that the programs were numbered and stuffed and that all the game day events ran smoothly.

What skills were required to fulfill this internship?

It was vital to be sociable, and to have strong communication skills and respect for everyone with whom we interacted. I also had to work in a way that had to use sales and marketing skills.

How does this internship intersect with your studies at Colby–Sawyer?

This internship intersected at many points with my studies at Colby–Sawyer. I was able to use a lot of the knowledge I had gained in my marketing and sports marketing classes, but the most useful information I was able to use came from my previous internships. This part of my Colby–Sawyer learning experience helped me become more confident and successful in what needed to be done.

What challenges did you face, and what triumphs did you enjoy, during your internship?

The challenges I faced were about not trying to be a know–it–all because I have done two other internships. Many times I felt like trying to change the way the team runs but I knew I had to stay focused and not tell the Princeton Rays general manager how to run his team.

On the other hand, on my first day I was allowed to express ideas about what types of promotional games we should try. This was important because I knew I could express my ideas without telling the team what to do.

The worst day I had was in early August when the Appalachian League president was annoyed with us about not trying our hardest to get the field in shape. The best day on the job was opening day because we were able to get through the first day and game of the season successfully from a management standpoint, and we were underway with the season. These were the major challenges of the season.

What have you learned during your internship that might be useful in your professional life?

I learned a lot during my internship, but probably the biggest thing was that I gained a better understanding of how to make sales and what goes into marketing. This internship allowed me to learn more about myself, too.

Do you think this internship will lead to employment with the company after graduation? Did it confirm or alter your career plans?

This internship has already led to an account executive job with the Binghamton Senators Hockey Club, which is in the American Hockey League (AHL). This internship was the final requirement to get my Sport Management degree; I have already graduated with my Business Administration degree. I know that sports is the field I want to work in, and this internship just confirmed my desire to work in this area.

What do you think of Colby–Sawyer's requirement to complete an internship?

Colby–Sawyer's requirement of completing an internship really does allow you to experience the field that you want to work in and determine if you want to continue in that field, or if you want to go a different direction with your career.