02/17/2017

Students Gained Valuable Internship Experience Over Winter Recess


By MADISON NASTEFF '19

This winter, Rice University Sport Management students took advantage of their time off to gain valuable internship experiences. From the Chevron Houston Marathon to the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, the students were able to apply what they learned throughout the semester and contribute to some impressive events.

Cody Staab '19 got to participate in a winter internship as an Operations Intern for the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. Preparing ticket packages, interacting with sponsors, and fine tuning every detail for the more than 70,000 fans in attendance, Staab and his team were able to successfully execute this massive event held here in Houston.

"So many little things were in order to put on the bowl game," Staab remarked. "No matter how small something may seem it might make all the difference in the end result."

Samantha Quen '20 took advantage of connections in the Rice Department of Sport Management to intern for the Playstation Fiesta Bowl and Motel 6 Cactus Bowl just miles from her hometown in Arizona. Just a freshman, Quen interned in the Game and Event Operations department working hard to create and distribute credentials for both games. She also got the opportunity to attend media days and press conferences in the media hotel, exposing her to the events from a whole new perspective. Her hard work culminated in being able to attend both bowl games and establish connections for future internships.

Rice Baseball catcher Dominic DiCaprio '19 spent his winter offseason working for the Florida Panthers in sponsor activation and contracts. He was able to interact with sponsors and ensure they had the best experience possible working with the Panthers. DiCaprio applied skills he learned in his Sport Management courses, including dressing well, showing up on time, and being respectful when talking to staff, to leave a good impression on the team and get a foot in the door of the professional sports world.

Jesse Roberts 2017 MarathonTrack and field middle distance runner Jesse Roberts '20 got to immerse himself in the broader running community of Houston interning with the Chevron Houston Marathon. He worked with the elite athletes to make sure they had all accommodations necessary for their arrival in Houston and on race day. His job included reviewing their contracts, meeting them upon arrival in Houston, and insuring their stay went smoothly.

In addition to his stint in Houston, Roberts found himself in a lucky situation. While speaking with a contractor who was hired to help with elite athletes in Houston, he was offered a position to fly to Boston just two weeks later to help at another race. Roberts travelled--all expenses paid--to Boston and got the opportunity to escort elite athletes from the airport to the hotel, and then from the waiting area to the starting line on race day. Through this opportunity, Roberts met many different people and was able to greatly expand his professional network as just a freshmen student.

Roberts said this of his experience: "I've met so many people through this internship, and now my networks have grown so greatly, which is something I am really excited about."

New to the Department of Sport Management, Bailey Douglas '19, got her feet wet this winter helping the Associate Manager of ESPN Events. She worked on the sites of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl and the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl in operations. Her assignments included preparing for the game, setting up the stadiums in the days before, and resolving any conflicts on game day. Douglas enjoyed the opportunity to see the bowl games from the other side.

"I've been to plenty of football games, but I loved doing behind the scenes jobs in this fast paced environment, having to tackle multiple tasks at once so that everything ran smoothly," Douglas remarked.

Douglas also did something special that impressed her manager. After the games had finished, she sent him a hand-written thank you note explaining how grateful she was for the opportunity to participate in her internship. He replied with an email saying how much he appreciated the note. The Rice Department of Sport Management encourages their students to go above and beyond, and acts like this are what makes our students stand out from the rest.

A full list of Winter 2017 internships completed by Sport Management students is listed below:

 Organization Student Internship Position           
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl Ryan Chandler  Operations
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl  Cody Staab  Operations 
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl Jason Yin  Operations 
Athletes Prime  Willy Amador  Performance Training 
Austin Spurs Trevor Brown Revenue Generation
ESPN Events Bailey Douglas Operations and Sponsor Activation
Fiesta Bowl  Samantha Quen  Ticket Operations
Florida Panthers Dominic DiCaprio Sponsor Activation
FloSports Wyatt Imus  Rodeo Content Provider 
Houston Marathon  Kendall Jefferies Community Development 
Houston Marathon  Jesse Roberts  Elite Athlete Operations 
Los Angeles Colliseum  Zach Hutchings  Event Management 
Lubbock Sports  Chase Sarchet Event Management/Business Development 
Match Point Tennis Academy Wendy Zhang Marketing
Spring Spirit Baseball  Ricky Salinas  Baseball Instruction 
Texas Baseball Academy  Tristan Gray  Baseball Instruction 
     
Madison Nasteff is a sophomore from Kansas City, MO and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Engineering Design.