How did this opportunity come about?
Last year, Patrick Byrne who is the Director of Sales and Marketing at AutoZone Liberty Bowl, came and talked to our Sport Management class. Dr. James Allen (Assistant Professor, Management/Marketing/Economics) later put me in touch with him to discuss the possibility of an internship there. I was very excited about it because several CBU students, including guys on the basketball team, had already done internship with the Liberty Bowl and I knew that they had had great experiences. I had an interview and started at the beginning of the school year.
What does your internship entail?
The Liberty Bowl game happens on December 31 and my work is in ticket sales: selling tickets, getting sponsor packets ready, keeping track of passes. At this point, we are still mostly dealing with corporate sponsorships. The teams who will get to play in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be announced on December 2 and that’s when we will start selling to fans of the teams. That will be exciting.
Have you enjoyed work with the Autozone Liberty Bowl so far?
It’s been a great internship. I am a sport management major so it’s a really good experience to see how such a major event is run. Not so much the sport aspect of it, even though of course that is fun, but from events management perspective: how sales are run, how the website is managed, ticket operations, developing contracts and the relationships with all these people who are involved. You learn so much because you work very hard to get everything right. You can’t make mistakes because you have one chance, if you make a mistake you have to wait another 365 days to try and fix it.
How has your CBU experience prepared you for your internship?
I am a sport management major but also I am the manager of the CBU men’s basketball team so I have felt prepared both because of my classwork but also because of what I have been involved with outside of class. I’ve learned through my experience working with the basketball team that there is a lot that goes into sport management that is not glamorous. You do a lot of grunt work, mopping floors and that kind of thing. It humbles you but that’s ok because you do it for the team.
We have to ask you, do you want to continue in sport management after you graduate?
Yes. I would really like to go to grad school. But, before that, I will be working for the FedEx St. Jude Classic Golf Tournament. I did an internship with them last year and this year they have asked me to come back and work for them. After that, I look forward to grad school for campus recreation, event management and tourism. My chances of getting accepted to events management programs look better and better because at this point I have done two internships with major events and I have a lot of experience.
Any advice for other CBU students who may be thinking about internships?
The best piece of advice that I have is that it is never too early to start thinking about it. Just contact whoever you think can help you in securing an internship. The worst thing that can happen is that they will be really nice about it and say sorry, but no. Also, don’t just go to class! Talk to your advisor, find that one person that you really connect with–it could be a professor, your advisor–and show them that you are interested. There are so many faculty and staff people here at CBU who are so willing to help you out.
To read more Internship Spotlight pieces, take a look at our recent interviews with Cali Copsey (Mechanical Engineering, ’14), Michalyn Easter (History & Political Science ’13) and Riley Pace (Chemistry, ’13).
If you are interested in doing an internship, talk to your advisor or contact the Career Center today!