An Intern’s Perspective: Sports Is a People Business
Today marks the end of my second full week at MLB as an intern with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, and by now I feel like I’ve pretty much gotten into the swing of things. Not only am I now an expert at getting from Brooklyn to Manhattan by Subway (quite an accomplishment, I know), but I’m becoming much more familiar with how BTF runs and operates.
Throughout the week, I’ve spent a good deal of time promoting some great events that BTF has put together (hopefully many of you have seen my Facebook and Twitter posts!). On Thursday, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund hosted a free field maintenance clinic at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista in California. The clinic was led by San Diego Padres Director of Grounds Luke Yoder, who was on-hand to provide tips and best-practice techniques for maintaining youth baseball and softball fields. Sixteen people participated in the event.
This weekend, the Boston Red Sox are teaming up with BTF and Kids Gear for Baseball for a three-day long equipment collection drive at Fenway Park. Beginning today, June 17th, fans are encouraged to bring in new and used baseball and softball equipment that will be collected outside the gates and later distributed to kids in need. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I know firsthand that Sox fans are some of the most caring and generous in baseball, so I’m hoping they’ll live up to that image this weekend with tons of donations! I’ll be excited to see the results.
I’ve also had the opportunity over the past few days to take a closer look at some of the letters of inquiry and grant applications that pour into our office. It’s astounding just how many kids and communities are truly in need, and could benefit from a BTF grant. I’m excited to become more involved in and knowledgeable about the grant process throughout the summer. It must be so rewarding for all those involved to see a grant recipient’s goals come to fruition, whether it’s seeing kids in brand new uniforms or watching an opening day game at a newly constructed ballpark.
Lastly, I’d like to share a little bit about a great learning experience I had recently. Last week, I was away at an ECAC-SIDA conference in Rochester, NY, where I soaked up a great deal of knowledge about working in the sports business, specifically in athletic communications. I spent the week participating in workshops and panels with topics including social networking, best practices, and women in sports, among others.
If there’s one thing I took away from my time in Rochester, it’s this small bit of wisdom from Bill Jones, Sports Information Director at Skidmore College: sports is a people business. In this technology-dominated world of email, smart phones and Twitter, it’s still so important to have real, meaningful interactions with other people. Stopping by a coworker’s desk to talk face-to-face (even if it’s just about how well the Mavs closed out fourth quarters against LeBron James), always treating others with courtesy and respect, being mindful of your tone and behavior in the workplace—these little actions help to make working in sports one of the best careers out there.
So while I’m thrilled to be working in the sports industry, I’m even more excited about the people I’ll meet, the experiences I’ll have and the memories I’ll form while I’m here.