my internship experience

Chris Rafferty '08 of Milford, Mass. graduated with a double major in Sport Management and Business Administration. He was a member of the soccer team and played intramural sports. After graduation, he worked in Foxborough, Mass., as an unpaid intern in the New England Patriots and Revolutions marketing department. He managed player and mascot appearances, as well as marketed the Patriots Rewards card at various events.

How did you find this internship opportunity?

I found this internship on Gillette Stadium's Web site. I applied online and received a call from Marketing Coordinator Dave Krueger. We arranged an interview at Gillette which lasted around 20 minutes. Before the interview was even over, they told me they wanted to bring me on board for the summer. This was actually my second internship; last winter I was an assistant to the Recreation Director for the town of Newbury, N.H.

What were your most important responsibilities as an intern?

My most important responsibilities as an intern were to manage player and mascot appearances from the very beginning to end. I needed strong organizational and time management skills, the ability to work odd hours, and most important, being able to be a team member and communicate properly.

How does this internship intersect with your studies at Colby-Sawyer?

Taking sports marketing, facility management, and public speaking courses all played an instrumental role in my success at this internship. When I have to market the Patriots credit card, my marketing course experience plays a part in how I go about persuading people to sign up. My public speaking course has helped in being able to speak with prospective customers.

What challenges have you faced, and what triumphs have you enjoyed, during your internship?

My first day of the internship in May, I worked at the Patriots Draft Party. I did not know anyone, let alone anything about the event or Gillette Stadium, but my assignment was to give tours of the stadium! I was given a bunch of facts and told to memorize them; I needed to be able to speak on each fact while giving the tour to season ticket holders and fans. This was the biggest challenge of my internship.
My best day was working for the Patriots Extra Points Program at the Hot Dog Safari in Suffolk Downs. Three other interns and I broke the single event record for signing up the most people for the credit card.

My worst day on the job was in the middle of July, we had to set up a soccer camp for 200 kids outside. After setting up all the cones and 200 soccer balls, it began to pour. We had to carry all the soaked cones and balls to an indoor location.

What have you learned during your internship that might be useful in your professional life?

I have learned to always conduct oneself in a professional manner. I never knew when an important investor or employee was watching.

What do you tell your friends and family about your internship?

I tell my friends that you have to be very hard working at this internship and able to handle many tasks at the same time. I also tell them about being able to meet all the athletes and coaches.

Do you think this internship will lead to employment with the company?

Jobs are very hard to come by in the organization, but the internship did solidify my commitment to landing a sports marketing position.