my internship experience

Ryan Farris '12, a Sport Management major with a Business Administration minor from Nashua, N.H., spent nearly three months as a media/public relations intern with the Nashua Silver Knights Collegiate Baseball Team this past summer. Run by Red Sox Class A Affiliate the Lowell Spinners, the summer baseball team for college students looking to improve their skills has a Minor League feel. Along with great baseball, the organization provides promotions and fun game activities to create a great experience for the entire family.

At Colby-Sawyer, Farris is club lacrosse president, holds an Athletics work-study position, and has been an Orientation Leader.

Why did you choose this internship? What was the application process like?

I grew up playing baseball, and played varsity baseball at Colby-Sawyer in both my freshman and sophomore years. I love the sport and this organization was a great opportunity to see what it takes to run a team. It was a startup team, which provided me with a great deal of space to work and allowed the organization to let the interns take a lot of control.

The application process was very simple. I called the front office and asked if they were accepting applications for internships. When they said yes, I submitted my resume and cover letter along with a list of references. Shortly after, I was called in for an interview and was accepted for the internship during my interview.

What skills were required for this internship and what were your responsibilities?

Time management! The hours could be long and the days hectic, so making sure you know how to manage time was key. Being able to write professionally was also crucial. There were many times when I needed to reach out to local businesses and media outlets via email, so I needed to be confident in my writing skills.

My very first assignment was to hand out flyers and pocket schedules to local businesses. This was critical because our team was new and we needed to market it to the area. My responsibilities were mainly in the press box, though. On game days, I was responsible for updating rosters for each team, writing public announcements, and also creating lineup cards that were distributed to each team. I was also both the announcer and recorded statistics for the Silver Knights during games. Before games and nongame days I worked with other interns to come up with creative promotional ideas, and fun activities to do between innings to entertain the crowd.

Did your course work and studies prepare you?

My course work definitely helped me be prepare for my internship. I learned a lot about what goes into successful sports teams, and how to handle certain challenges they may face. The entire Exercise and Sport Sciences staff at Colby-Sawyer has taught me a lot, helped me grow into a better person, and made me confident in my skills and helped me prepare for future work.

What did you enjoy most, and what did you find most challenging about your internship?

What I enjoyed most about this internship was the amount of control I had. It was a new team and new organization so we did not have the funds to hire a lot of people. That said, when an organization is small, you can clearly see the affect you are having; you directly impact the team. The internship was also great because they asked what I wanted to get out of it. I was able to focus on what I wanted to do rather than having to finish busy work.

The most challenging part was the time commitment during various parts of the season. There were times that the team had several games back-to-back, which required a great deal of work to be done in a short period of time. Consequently, I needed to spend a significant amount of time at the ballpark to make sure that everything was done on time, and that everything we needed to complete for the next game was done.

The best day on the job was the very final home game of the regular season. This was because we could see all the work that we put in, and how much it all paid off. The fans told us how much they loved the team and how much fun they had throughout the season. Our team clinched first place for the playoffs and we helped support their run to their first championship.

What did you learn during your internship?

Something that I learned that was very surprising to me was the fact that customer service takes priority over everything. The first day on the job they told us that it doesn't matter how well the team plays, what matters is how we treat the fans. They preached that each and every fan, no matter how old, needs to be treated like they are VIP in the stadium. This was surprising because I figured the team would worry about the baseball performance first and foremost.

What has this experience taught you about yourself and your field of study?

This experience taught me a lot about myself. I learned that even when I am tired and ready to give up, I am able to push through and get done what I need to finish. I have become much more comfortable with new situations. I had never announced in front of large crowds but I felt as though I thrived in the moment and did much better than I had predicted.

I learned that time is very important. You want to make sure that everything is done sooner rather than later because you never know what is going to come up. Also I learned that you need to treat your customers and fans with the upmost respect and courtesy. If they are happy with with the team, they will come back. They will also help spread the word about the team; as with any organization; you rely on word-of-mouth marketing.

Please share one or two of your most memorable experiences from your internship.

My most memorable experience from this internship was listening to the fans. Hearing them say such great things about what we had done felt really nice. They made us feel we had done much more than just provide entertainment. One woman told me, “I am so happy that this team came to Nashua. It is really nice to see a classy organization back in town. I bring my kids here and one day I hope they can be a part of something as well organized as this.” The fans made the entire summer worth it.

Will this internship confirm or change your career plans?

This internship certainly helped me confirm my career plans. This is exactly what I want to be doing with my life. Being part of college athletics is great because there is so much room for growth. It is really nice to work alongside people who are so determined to succeed and who want to better themselves for the future.

Is Colby-Sawyer's requirement of completing an internship beneficial?

I would have to say that the requirement is very beneficial. I know that if it weren't a requirement, I most likely would not have done this internship. But since it is, I was able to experience one of the best summers of my life and create some great new relationships.