With this Sports Business program, I am working with the Sydney Blue Sox at Blacktown International Sports Park. The Blue Sox are a baseball team in the ABL, the Australian Baseball League. When I was assigned this internship, I was super excited – I love baseball and thought it would be so cool to learn about the how the sport works in another country!
Unfortunately the ABL is much much smaller than professional baseball in America. Sadly, not many people are interested in baseball or even know that there is a team in Sydney. This was surprising to me because I was expecting a big organization and ended up at somewhere equivalent to America’s Minor League levels. But honestly, this worked in my favor. In working for a small team, I have been given the opportunity to do so much! I’ve done things in a wide variety of areas in marketing and operations. Primarily I have been working on the ongoing project of merchandising. I have been searching for products that we can use for our membership packages. I find the ideal products and connect with wholesalers to get our Sox logos on them. Having worked in sports retail and equipment for Pitt Athletics, I have a bit of a background in merchandise and inventories so this has been an ideal project for me. I just wish I could be around a little bit longer to see the cool products when they’re finally ordered!
Because the organization is pretty small, the staff is pretty small too. I work with my boss Krissie, the Assistant General Manager, and five other interns. It’s been great being in an office with other students to collaborate on projects with. I started the same day as two of my coworkers, which helped with the transition into the new workplace. We all are learning and growing accustomed to the work culture together. It didn’t take long for us to warm up to each other, the preexisting interns, and our boss. We all sit in a small trailer, so we had no choice to get to know each other and work together.
I’m actually super lucky because the two original interns are Australian, so I can get a perspective of people my age on some societal differences among our countries. The other Americans and I always are going back and forth with them discussing funny words, weird lifestyle habits, and strange food. Those two, along with our boss, really have helped us become more integrated into the Australian culture. Krissie has an “Aussie Taste Challenge” in which we have a list of food we have to try in order to reach a mystery challenge. We interns have even hung out on the weekends, most notably watching the Sydney Swans, an Aussie Rules Football team. This was such a cool experience where we got to see a popular sport and a really fun game!
Overall, I have really enjoyed my time with the Blue Sox. I’ve gained so much valuable experience and met some great friends that I’ll surely miss. Thankfully two of my American coworkers go to school in Pittsburgh so hopefully we’ll be able to reconnect in the fall. I have been so lucky to work with this team and I can’t believe I’m almost finished! #WhoRocks #BlueSox