Thunder interns don’t only work every home game, but we are also assigned to work office hours two days a week. If the team is on the road, we work from 9:30-5, but if the team is home, we work from 9:30 until the game ends. And that’s nothing compared to the full-time staff, who come in at 9:00 every morning and only get weekends off (when the team isn’t home, of course). Team Thunder is definitely a dedicated and hard-working bunch!
When the team is away, the intern workload in the office is concentrated to whichever department they are assigned to for that week. For example, I was recently assigned to the ticket office and learned how to print out tickets, organize will call, and process web orders. In previous assignments, I have helped edit video in the production department, learned all about team merchandise, and realized that there is a lot to do in food services.
When the team is home, interns have slightly different duties. We spend the mornings in the sales department until noon. Every game day, the entire front office staff meets at 1:00 to discuss the plans for that night’s game. Each staff member is given a “group sheet”, which details sponsor information, which groups will be in attendance, and what the promotional schedule is for that game. The meeting is led by Thunder GM Will Smith, who gives the staff feedback on how previous games turned out and begins to break down what’s going on that day. Will then goes around the room, giving each staff member the opportunity to contribute, whether it be feedback from a game or what still needs to be set up. “Interns stay after for setup assignments,” Ryan says. At the end of the meeting, some variation of “go team!” is shouted on the count of three, and then pregame setup begins.
There are usually 8 of us in during office hours every day. The rest of the interns show up at 4:00 for our pregame meeting. The ones in the office get assigned to set up the signage in the front of the stadium, help Joe Pa and Murph set up the merchandise tables, stuff rosters into programs, and create hundreds of bags of “launch-a-ball”. Once 4:00 rolls around, we learn our game assignments, eat some dinner, and continue to get ready for the game.
Sometimes interns get opportunities to sign up for working extra events that don’t involve Thunder games or office hours. For example, I got a chance to work the MAAC Tournament – the playoffs for Division 1 baseball. I haven’t worked many college sporting events, so I was excited when I heard the interns would be able to work it. It was also interesting to see how the facility operated during a tournament versus a single Thunder game. That tournament caused a frenzy in the ticket office, that’s for sure. I also got the opportunity to be the public address announcer for three AAU League baseball games that consisted of 14-15 year old all-stars from around the area. It was my first time ever being a public address announcer, and I definitely butchered a few names (sorry, guys!), but it was definitely a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday.