From October 2020 to April of 2021, I was given the opportunity to intern for the Des Moines Buccaneers. I was able to obtain this experience from a connection from a previous job. I was working for the Principal Charity Classic in high school, where I met Nick Cecere. Nick is one of the owners of the team. Nick had mentioned to my aunt, who he use to work with, that the Bucs were looking for interns. I then connected with him, and Nick was able to contact Nate Tuet, who is the president of the team. He had a phone interview with me and hired me on the spot. I was so excited about this opportunity. Sporting events have always been my favorite events to work at. I started a few weeks later where Nate and I sat down and discussed my tasks for this internship. We decided I would work in every aspect of the operations. This internship would include ticketing, clothing sales, marketing, game-day operations, and other small tasks. I was prepared and ready to take on all of the responsibilities.
I was working closely with was the Marketing team. On the marketing team, my manager was Carley Pappas. She has been working for the Bucs for three years, helping with all things marketing. During games, I would do two main things. One would be managing the Instagram stories. We would take videos of goals made and keep the story up to date of the scores. We would also get the fights in action. Another thing that I would do is help with twitter graphics and capto goals. Whenever the Bucs would score a goal, we would use an application to record with audio of every goal made. We also have to keep graphics updated with scores and some promotional things for our sponsors. On away games, I would watch the game from home and tweet the game's updates. These would be goals, penalties, and intermission graphic updates.
One significant factor of my internship was COVID. As I told Nate on my last day, it was a crappy thing for them, but I was thankful to have an Internship during this time. The amount I learned from canceling games, social distancing, and preparing the area to accommodate COVID regulations. Nate had asked me from the beginning to help him specifically with COVID regulations and ideas. I had to work on accommodating these needs. Two main projects I was doing for COVID accommodations were blocking the locker rooms and creating social distancing in the seats. We work through what number of seats would be marked off and how we would mark them off for seating. They had stickers made, and we went out in the arena and used the seating charts made to sticker the socially distanced seats and not allowed to be sat in. We also used those charts in the ticketing system to sell tickets from! The other thing I helped with was hanging shower curtains from pipes to block off the locker rooms. They were clear so fans could still cheer them on but were hung where fans had to stay back and couldn't risk spreading anything to the players.
What advice would you give?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is never to sell yourself short. In the Event Management Industry, there are many options of what we can go into. Weddings, conferences, corporate, ETC. Dip your toes in as many experiences as you can. This will help guide you with where to go after college rather than leaving a door of unknowns.