Spring 2013 Intern Blogs
University of Texas - San Antonio - Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Intern, San Antonio, TX
My name is Jim Blair. I am currently completing my internship requirements for my degree in Sport Management from Sam Houston State University. My internship experience may be different from others as I am a full-time baseball coach, and my internship requirements will be fulfilled through additional responsibilities other than those already required with my position. I began my degree when I served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with Sam Houston State Baseball, and last season I served in the same position at Dallas Baptist University. This summer I was offered a position at UTSA to be the Associate Head Coach and recruiting coordinator for the baseball program. Both my wife and I are originally from San Antonio, and I began my coaching career here, so we made the decision to come back home.
In my position, my main responsibilities include coaching and recruiting. Those responsibilities in themselves can consume 80 hours per week. They are my main focus every day and in the end are the most important aspects of our program. Even though recruiting is my main responsibility, all of the coaching staff is involved in the process on a daily basis. The same is true with the player development portion of the program. To fulfill my responsibilities for my internship, I have taken on additional responsibilities in the areas of scheduling, travel, camp development, and fundraising. For some programs, these responsibilities are given over to a Director of Baseball Operations; however we do not currently have that position and thus we saw it as an opportunity for this experience.
Scheduling will consist of communicating with other programs from around the country to set our 56 game baseball schedule. Schedules are usually done 2-3 years out and revolve around conference schedules which are set by the individual conference offices. With travel, I will arrange all travel arrangements for our team as well as team meals while we are at home. Not only will I be responsible for arranging the travel, I will be responsible for all business matters when we are actually on the road. I will also be helping with the development of UTSA Baseball Camps. Last year, UTSA Baseball Camps grossed some significant revenue, but I will also be exploring ways to improve our product as well as attempting to produce an all-encompassing camp plan. In the area of fundraising, I will be assisting with the development of our “First Pitch Dinner,” which is something new that we are doing to generate fundraising for our program.
To add these responsibilities to a full schedule will be a challenge, but it will be experience that will help my professional development in many different ways. One of my weaknesses is time management. With full-time recruiting responsibilities, coaching responsibilities, being a father of three, as well as taking on these new responsibilities, I will be stretched in ways that can only be a positive for my development and will present a variety of learning experiences.
Houston Rockets Media Relations Intern - Houston, TX
The beginning of the new year seems to have brought a lot of excitement to the organization, mainly due to the performance of the team and the defying of expectations that were established by critics at the beginning of the season. Jeremy Lin and James Harden continue to increase their production on the court, becoming one of the most potent backcourts in the league.
For me, this means more media attention for the team and the organization. Over the course of my internship, I have gained a sixth sense for what to expect with the organization’s increasing growth in the media spotlight. I can also see how close everyone is in the organization when the tragic news of the death of Coach Mchale’s daughter broke. It seems that games took an entirely different meaning, especially when the Rockets hosted the Boston Celtics on December 14 and how high the emotions surrounding the game were. It was interesting to note the types of questions the media were asking after Coach McHale defeated his former team that he was apart of in the legend years. That undoubtedly was the quickest post-game press conference that I had attended thus far during my internship.
Things continued to improve over the course of December. The Rockets cruised passed the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day on a nationally televised game not only because of the victory and how the country was witness to the extraordinary talent that the young team possesses, but also the fact that everyone was allowed to see it, even if your local cable carrier does not have Comcast SportsNet. It’s also interesting to note that the media relations department receives calls from fans demanding coverage of the Rockets games. The organization, as well as Comcast SportsNet has recognized the increase in demand for the sports network. Over the last few weeks, I have been rounding up players after practice to record a simple message that have been aired to fans demanding that sports network on local cable carriers.
I can understand why the demand has increased, especially with the second reunion of James Harden facing the Oklahoma City Thunder taking place on December 29. This was one of the more popular games from a media standpoint. It’s often rare that all of the media seating is filled during home games. I’ve noticed that games that have story lines buried underneath the outcome of games garner a vast amount of attention. As I’m preparing clips the day after these particular games, I notice how the storyline of the game seems to follow that particular theme. In this case, the reunion of James Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Toyota Center has also gained a lot of attention over the course of the last couple of months. The NBA has been evaluating the status of the arena in preparation of for the upcoming All-Star events that will take place in and around the Toyota Center. My next entry no doubt will be filled with interesting experiences and details of the duties that I will be fulfilling during that exciting weekend.
University of Incarnate Word Administrative Intern to the Athletic Director, San Antonio, TX
February 1, 2013
Finding University of Incarnate Word has really been a blessing for me and my family for many reasons. First of all, being a non-traditional student and working well over 60 hours a week in my full time job and then having to take care of my family and household responsibilities is a major chore. Secondly, with God’s support, my wife is expecting to have our second daughter on February 19th. The staff at UIW has really been flexible with this opportunity and they are letting me reach out to the entire staff to fulfill my commitment to their program.
The courses have been such a learning experience to date for me and for the UIW administration. When I first started visiting with the Athletic Director at UIW, Mark Papich, we tried to develop ways that we could maximize my time here as an intern. Thus, I offered some ideas to help get UIW’s new athletic booster club off the ground and had many ideas and questions that came out of that idea.
I started calling or visiting many different colleges and universities. I called or visited with at least 7 NCAA Division-One schools to set up meetings. I visited Tulane University, Trinity University, and Texas State University in person. In addition, I called and/or set up appointments with Rice University, Houston Baptist University, St Mary’s University, the University of St. Thomas, and the University of New Orleans. All came with a mixed bag of results on reaching staff members and or actually talking to someone. I really had the most success by just showing up unannounced.
However, after reaching out to other members of Mr. Papich’s staff, I learned everything I was in the process of doing had already been accomplished. The External Business Manager, Rick Smith, had already compiled the information that was needed. Furthermore, he had already introduced a completed version to the University. Naturally, I shifted my focus to reach out to Rick and volunteer my services to help with the launch and sustainability of his plan. With Mark and Stacy’s (UIW Compliance Director) permission, I will be aiding Rick in his efforts to broaden UIW's impact in the world of Division One Athletics.
In addition, I will be completing another portion of the internship with an overview of the athletic department to include a presentation to AD Papich and the staff. This presentation will include, but not be limited, to a written report and presentation to senior officials. Field research will also include interviews with staff, coaches, and players in addition to other common sources (books, articles, etc.), and will help provide UIW with more resources to promote and market with in the coming years.
SHSU Athletics Athletic Administration Intern, Huntsville, TX
February 1, 2013
I am currently doing my internship with Chris Thompson, an Associate Athletic Director for Sam Houston State University’s Athletic Department. This semester, I will serve as an Athletic Administration intern. I will be her shadow during this semester and obtain knowledge regarding the administration side of college athletics.
I started the internship officially this week, assisting Mrs. Thompson with different tasks and responsibilities. Last week, however, Mrs. Thompson introduced me to the staff of the Registrar’s Office, the coaching staff of the various sports here at SHSU, office administrators, different department staff within athletics, and the Athletic Director, Bobby Williams. I also accompanied her to the Registrar’s Office and observed the different steps it takes to get an athlete certified to compete.
I have performed many different tasks, one of which was acting as the liaison between the student-athletes and different professors. Basketball in particular was scheduled to have a game during the same hours as a player’s class. I arranged a meeting between the professor and the athlete, which allowed the player to acquire their missed work. I have also processed the paperwork it takes to get certain student-athletes in classes that they need to graduate this May.
From an NCAA standpoint, I have a meeting scheduled with Dr. Jim Bexley, in which we will discuss me assisting him with an NCAA survey and distribution which will take place later in the semester. I have proofed NCAA eligibility paperwork for the Track and Field teams, which is required for them to be able to participate in their upcoming events. I have also worked on purchase orders for specific athletes in order for them to acquire their letterman jackets.
While in the office, I have met with Jessica Payne and gone over advising duties, which I will be assisting with in the coming weeks. She, along with Mrs. Thompson, has explained to me the different requirements in terms of degree plans and GPAs which a student must maintain in order to be eligible. I look forward to working with Mrs. Thompson and the rest of the Athletic Department staff and learning as much as I can from this experience throughout the semester.
Houston Aeros Ticketing Sales / Event Management Intern, Houston, TX
February 1, 2013
The search for an internship was a great learning experience. I applied for several places, including all of the Houston area teams. I also received calls from several places out of state, including a professional softball team and several minor league baseball teams. The thing I noticed about each team is that they want to know a lot about your personality and your background in sport. Each interview I had was another great learning experience. Each interview gave me insights into what sport organizations are looking for in they’re employees. Eventually, I got on with the Houston Aeros hockey team in Houston and have been having a great time since.
So far I’ve been involved with the planning of the adult hockey league that the Houston Aeros are involved with, which is also known as The Houston Hockey Series. The league consists of 6 teams and is played in several different arenas, including the Toyota Center. We set up for games by checking that we have team jerseys, hockey pucks, and raffle tickets for each game. During each of the HHS games, we are responsible for running the scoreboard, doing pre-game announcements, keeping a record of stats and playing the in-game music. We are also involved with the Houston Aeros Customer Service Department during each game. This includes helping customers find their seats, distributing the promotional items, and signing them up for future promotions.
I also had the opportunity to do an event at the World Rugby Championship which was held outside BBVA Compass Stadium. We were in charge of setting up our inflatable “slap shot” game, and awarding free tickets to anyone who was interested in attending a game. This was a great experience in seeing how an event is set up from beginning to end.
I have recently been given the responsibility of updating the Houston Hockey Series website, which includes writing game reports, posting updates to all the teams in the league, updating stats and standings, and creating a playoff bracket. I have also been researching some things for the upcoming ISHL state tournament, which will be held at the Toyota Center. I am currently finding custom lanyards and custom badges for each of the competing teams. It will be interesting to see what comes next!
BBVA Compass Stadium Event Services Intern, Houston, TX
February 1, 2013
This spring, I will be completing my internship with BBVA Compass Stadium as the Event Services Intern. BBVA Compass Stadium just recently opened on May 12, 2012. It is the home stadium of the Houston Dynamo, a Major League Soccer Team, and the Texas Southern University football team. As part of my internship, my main responsibilities are to coordinate events with tenants and clients of the stadium, assist with administrative duties associated with the events, make initial contacts with clients to arrange for set-up & logistics of events, communicate event details to stadium staff through production notes, run point on various events as assigned and act as a main point of contact with clients from planning stage to conclusion of events. I also assist the Guest Services Manager, Senior Event Manager, and Security Manager on stadium event days. I also interact with clients, promoters, tenants and guests in a professional manner, and shadow various departments within the stadium to gain an overall prospective of venue management.
We had an event my very first day on the job, so I got straight to work. It was the US International Women’s 7 on 7 Rugby Tournament that consisted of 36 games in two days. Once I met the staff, filled out some paperwork, and received my access badge, I felt official. Afterwards, Amber Goodspeed, the Senior Event Manager, gave me a quick tour around the stadium and we began setting up for the event over the next two days. She was able to guide me through everything she does on event days and give me some hands-on experience on what I will be doing as an intern. We walked around the stadium to make sure everything was in place before the doors opened.
For the end of this week, I have three events that I will be helping the Sr. Event Manager with. The first event is the Adidas Meeting. Since the event is tomorrow, I went to the room to make sure the event is set up correctly for the client. The second event is a Player Photo Shoot, where two players from the Houston Dynamo will take pictures for the cover. The last event of the week is Fan Fest that will take place on Saturday. This is where fans will be able to come and meet a few of the Dynamo players, play games and have a generally good time.
This is only Day 2 of my internship, but I can’t wait to experience the many events that are already planned ahead. Amber has informed me that by the end of the next week, I will be the official contact person for the upcoming events held at the stadium. I have also learned that I am the very first intern they have had for the stadium, which makes me excited and ready to do a great job to set the standard high for the next SHSU Sport Management interns that will follow behind me.