Its game 9 of a ten game home stand and I’m trying to tie up all loose ends so I can have a clear conscience about leaving for a week. My wedding was a week and half prior and it’s safe to say I’m running on fumes. These long stretches in the season will take everything out of you. My two week outlook appeared something like this- wedding, day off, ten game home stand, honeymoon… If you don’t love it, this could sound like your worst nightmare.
Trust me; this industry is like nothing else out there. The sports industry is ultra-competitive by nature, both on the field and in the front office. The staff is usually small and niche, making it a tough place to get your foot in the door. However, one thing I have learned going into my second season in baseball is that interns are such a valuable commodity.
“It’s a tough place to get your foot in the door.”
Minor league baseball requires everyone to do a little bit of everything. One minute you are in a meeting talking about big time sponsorship dollars and the next minute you are in sweatpants putting the tarp on the field. I promise you there is no job like it. The craziness and inconsistency can stretch the full-time staff thin by mid-season, once games are in full swing. That’s where the interns come into play. Interns in a lot of minor league organizations carry a lot of the workload in season. They do the jobs no one else wants to do and very rarely get paid to do it. It’s not easy, it’s not always rewarding, and sometimes they might contemplate quitting. Nevertheless, if you are passionate about this industry and stick to these six tips, you might turn that internship into something more. Here’s how I took advantage of an internship and turned it into a full-time job.
- Keep Yourself Busy- You never want to be the intern caught slacking or sitting in the corner. There is always something that can be done. Look for opportunities to jump in and help out wherever you can. Be visible. Ask for things to do!
- Be Willing to Do Anything– I mean anything. As strange as minor league baseball is you could be walking around as the mascot, delivering tickets, or picking up trash. Take those small tasks and make them into something bigger. If you can handle the small tasks, you will gain experience and be trusted with more responsibility. Proving you can master those things will set you up for future success.
- Ask Questions- If you don’t know what you are doing, ask someone. Getting the job done right is the most important thing. It shows initiative and that you care about the success of the team.
- Build Relationships– Establish relationships with the staff and find a mentor. Building relationships and learning from those who have been in your shoes before provides valuable knowledge. These people are the ones who live it every day and have the insight that you will not find online. Learn the culture, personalities, and find where you can fit in.
- Be Professional– Show up early, dress appropriately, and handle yourself in a professional manner. Being an intern doesn’t give you a bye to slack off. If anything you should be trying harder than you ever have before. Staff, clients, and fans will take notice of how you carry yourself.
- Be Enthusiastic– This sounds cliché, but at the end of the day, this industry is built on the foundation of playing a game and bringing fans into the stands. This is baseball, America’s pastime. If you have a bad attitude, it wears on people real fast. Smile and have fun.
Like I said, this is baseball. If you aren’t smiling when you walk into the stadium, you probably aren’t going to land the job anyway.
Doug Condran is Client Services Representative for the Lancaster Barnstormers and Co-Founder of Baseball Desk. Connect with him on Linkedin.