The Business of Baseball: A Summer Intern’s Inside View

Junior business major Taylor Kacur recalls lessons she learned during a summer internship with the Syracuse Chiefs AAA minor league baseball team.
By Taylor Kacur ‘15, Accounting and Management | School of Business & Management

October 22, 2014

Throughout my years at Norwich, I have heard a lot of professors in the School of Business and Management stress the importance of internships and the unique knowledge students gain from such opportunities. During my junior year, I wanted to acquire my own real-world experience. I knew that a summer internship would be an ideal way for me to get a sense of the business world outside a typical college setting. Equipped with ideas on how to find and land internships from the Norwich Career Center, I applied to various internship programs, accepting an offer from the Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball team in Syracuse, N.Y., a AAA affiliate of the Washington Nationals near my hometown. I knew little to nothing about baseball and had never considered working in the sports industry before. But luckily Tim McCarver-like knowledge of the game was not a job requirement. So I took on the challenge, recalling the words of Babe Ruth: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”

From my perch as an intern, I saw every angle of a corporate sports business in action, working directly with fans at customer service and front desk operations and helping with on-field promotions, social media marketing and event planning. I found that my Norwich School of Business and Management courses, such as Introduction to Marketing, Operations Management and Organizations of Business, really helped prepare me for these tasks. I also glimpsed the finance side of the business from bookkeeping to raffling and was interested to discover how tough a business baseball can be in which to turn a profit. A lot depends on how staff treat customers. The combined efforts of interns like myself and employees helped increase the club’s average attendance this season. My most satisfying experiences as an intern were seeing a full stadium on game day and watching fans of all ages happily enjoy the game with friends and family. One of the key lessons I learned from this internship is to enjoy what you do and with whom you work. I couldn’t imagine not meeting all of the friendly staff and interns that I closely worked with this past summer.

By the end of my summer as a Syracuse Chiefs intern, I learned that private business accounting is a path I could pursue in the future and that I enjoy working in the sports industry. Without this work experience, I may never have considered it as a possible future career. My internship taught me about real-life business operations. It also gave me the experience and tools required to land a different internship this semester in an auditing department.