By Ivonne Perez ’20
How did you find out about this internship?
I spent the spring semester looking and applying for internships, knowing that I wanted to finish my internship that summer. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get an internship near home, because most of what was available was out of state where I knew no one. I checked the job posting websites for the Cleveland Cavs, Browns, and Indians often, hoping one of them would have an internship available that interested me. One day, I dedicated the day to applying to as many internships as I could and I happened to stumble upon a job with the Indians for their Retail College Partnership Associate.
Was the process of applying for the internship challenging? Were their specific requirements?
I applied for the job over Christmas break and honestly, I ended up forgetting I applied, as I had applied for so many that day. That was until I got back from class one day and had a message from Nancy Schneider with the Cleveland Indians. I remember being so nervous and I texted both of my parents sharing the news. I called her back from my room and my hands were shaking. She answered the phone and almost immediately jumped into a phone interview. I was in no way prepared for a phone interview (I don’t know what I expected calling back in hindsight). After talking to her for a couple of minutes and hearing exactly what the internship entailed, I was offered an in person interview. A week later, I was in Cleveland meeting Michael Rohrbach, the Assistant Manager of Ballpark Retail. We talked for a while and I left feeling confident (of course that was until I came back to find my car being towed because in my nervousness, I apparently parked in an illegal spot). I waited for days to find out if I got the job or not, and as opening day drew closer, I started to lose my confidence. One day, while in the gym, I got a call from an unknown Cleveland number. I knew this had to finally be it, so I attempted to calm my heavy breathing and answered the phone. It was a robo call telling me my cars warranty was up. I was very disappointed, but a couple hours later I had another call from a Cleveland number. It was Michael and he offered me a job and I accepted immediately!
Did your internship relate to your major and/or field of interest?
After graduation, I would love to be able to work in Fan Experience and marketing, being able to make sporting events fun for fans of all ages. In my time with the Indians, I worked one on one with fans on the daily, hearing their story’s and talking about the game. Though I don’t believe that the retail side of sport is where I’ll end up, but getting to interact with fans every day was definitely beneficial.
Describe your internship and duties as an intern.
During game days, I would work in the team shops selling merchandise. In the beginning of the season, I moved from team shop to team shop every day, however, a couple weeks into the season I was permanently placed in the club lounge section. This gave me the opportunity to make connections with the season-ticket holder‘s that were commonly up there as well as form a bond with the three other interns in that section.
This year, Cleveland was selected to host the MLB All Star Game. I was able to see the behind the scenes work required to pull off a major event like the All Star Game. I helped with tearing down the stores and setting them up with All Star merchandise, as well as working in the MasterCard All Star Game tent during the weeks leading up to the games when it was open to the public. The three days of the All-Star game, the energy in Cleveland was unmatched. Having the opportunity to talk to people from all over the country was an amazing experience. Many of these fans had never been to Cleveland before and everyone had nothing but amazing things to say about the city that I love.
During the off days, we had guest speakers from different departments and they told us about their experience that led them to their jobs with the Cleveland Indians. My favorite speakers were Alex King, the Vice President of Marketing and Kelly Dredge, the Director of Live Experience. I would actually end up spending a game shadowing Kelly and seeing what she does on a daily basis. This included attending the morning meeting before gates opened and listening to them go over the script for the day, to being on the field for the pregame festivities.
What was your favorite part of the internship? Your least favorite?
During the last six months with the Cleveland Indians foundation, I have formed amazing bonds with both my coworkers and my bosses. I would not only call these people a part of my career network, but lifelong friends. I loved meeting so many new people and learning more about Cleveland sports fans. My love for the Cleveland Indians has grown so much, as well as my closet and knowledge of baseball terms. Though it was hard at times working so much, especially during long home stand and prepping for All Star week, I cherished every moment and I could not have asked for a better internship experience.