Name: Ali Ebright, Sarah Jazmin Angus
School: Arizona State University
Year: Junior, senior
Age: 20, 21
Major: Marketing, public relations
Internship: Game operations
School credit: Yes
Hours: 30-40 per week (home games)
Duration: February - September/October
How did you get this internship?
Ali: I had my resume listed on SunDevil Career Link, ASU's career builder Web site. My manager, Johnny, found my resume and informed me about the internship opportunity and asked me for an interview. Before I knew it, I was a game operations intern!
Sarah: I worked as a Rally-back during the 2007 season. I then applied for an internship position through the same game operations/ entertainment department.
Why did you pick this internship?
Ali: Not only did the game operations Intern job description sound exciting and like something I would love to do, but I am a huge D-Backs and baseball fan. I could never pass up an opportunity to work for an MLB organization.
Sarah: I had such an amazing time last season as a Rally-back and knew I wanted to continue to work for the Diamondbacks organization. It is my hope that this internship will prove to be a stepping stone in my pursuit of a career in the sports/entertainment industry.
What was your first day like?
Ali: The real anxiety, and excitement, came when it was time for our first game. Since we are responsible for in-game entertainment, I was so nervous that I was going to mess up, or miss, a promotion. But I was really excited to be a part of the fan experience and be able to be a part of everything you never see when you enjoy a baseball game.
Sarah: The very first day at my internship was a day at the office, therefore, I had to dress business casual. I don't know how many outfits I put on before I left the house. Once I got there Johnny, my boss, walked us interns around the corporate office and introduced us to everyone from all departments. Corporate sponsorships, community affairs, broadcast, media relations, etc. I was so nervous and hated that I could only remember a few names. I remember the very first phone call I had to make on behalf of the organization. It was to book a "Peter Piper Play Ball Kid," I was so nervous. Everyone was in the office and watching me. I may have stumbled over a few words at first, but in the end, I was successful.
What do you do on an average day at work?
Ali: For non-game days, we are responsible for assisting with getting ready for homegames, such as booking pre-game entertainment and also preparing for everything we need to do in-game. On game days, we prepare for the game by getting everything in place for our in-game promotions. During pre-game we are responsible for checking in and setting up all the pre-game ceremonies, such as national anthem, color guard and/or recognitions. Once the game starts, I have a team of Rally-backs that are assigned to all of my promotions and I am responsible for getting the props, giveaways and Rally-backs to the right promotions at the right time.
Sarah: I come into the office, distribute formats and media rundowns, check-in the national anthem singer, color guard, and other pre-game staff. I set up the radar gun and ask a player to catch the ceremonial first pitch. I then gather all props needed for every event and put them in easy access places around the ball park. During the game, I run around with the Rally-backs and In-game hosts, to ensure that every promotional broadcast takes place, looks good, and stays within our time restraints. I wear a head set to keep an open communication between the camera crew, the director of game ops, the scoreboard technicians, and the Rally-backs team.
Have you met any famous people while at work?
Ali: I've only met the players who are just my hometown heroes.
Sarah: I know who all the players are, but I don't think they know me by name. I have been able to watch numerous batting practices from the field, run into an occasional player in the elevator or in the hall, but nothing more than a simple hello. I have however been able to meet Derrick Hall, the organization's President, a person I really look up to in the industry (if that counts).
If this is a paid internship, how would you compare the compensation to working at a fast food restaurant?
Sarah: The pay is much like a fast food restaurant. I try to work as often as possible, not only because I have a blast at work, but also because I need the hours on my timesheet! The more I work, the lower my credit card bill.
What's been the best part of your internship so far?
Ali: Aside from watching all the games at Chase Field, being able to experience baseball in a whole new way has been awesome. I have been able to see the baseball and fan experience from behind the scenes and have developed a new-found appreciation for everything that goes into a baseball game, besides the game.
Sarah: Meeting so many amazing, smart, talented people in the sports communication industry. I have also been able to shadow others in the game operations/broadcast department and better understand all that goes into the production of a game.
Share a funny story from your experiences at your internship.
Ali: Just to give background information, MLB and our head groundskeeper are very particular about the field and insisting that nothing is ever on the field...ever! Well, every Saturday, we run our Taco Bell Food Fight promotion, where we have a taco, burrito and frutista that run across the center field and fight for the finish line. Since we run the in-game promotions, I was responsible for the Taco Bell Food Fight and getting all the food ready for the race. Somehow, one of Mr. Taco's big white gloves got stuck inside and we didn't know it was there until it fell out of the bottom of the glove in mid-center field. As soon as my boss noticed it fell out, he started screaming into our headsets: "THE GLOVE IS ON THE FIELD! GET THE GLOVE! GET THE GLOVE!!!" As soon as he started screaming at me, I ditched my backpack and headset and sprinted from the bullpen fence to dead center field to pick it up. It was so embarrassing! At least after the game I got a compliment from everyone saying how fast I got that glove off the field.
How has working at this internship helped you towards getting your dream job?
Ali: It has helped me work towards my dream job because it gave me the opportunity to start out and work in the sports/baseball industry and work my way up from here.
Sarah: This internship has allowed me to exercise my communication and writing skills and has introduced me to the sports/entertainment industry. I have met a lot of amazing, successful people in the field who have opened my eyes to different job opportunities that I was never aware of.