The lights dim, pounding music begins to play and the crowd erupts as the announcer calls out the starting line-up for the Dallas Stars. But professional sports does not just live buzzer to buzzer; it’s a year-round experience that only a few get to live through- Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
This summer the Dallas Stars chose 10 bright-eyed professionals aspiring to break into the sports industry to contribute to the upcoming season. The Stars interns are spread across six departments, each bringing unique skills to the team while developing their professional sports’ savvy. Whether it’s selling tickets or tweeting about the most recent signee, each intern plays an integral part of making the upcoming season a success for the Stars community and the organization.
The Group Sales team, whom is responsible for selling ticket packages to community groups and individual fans, took on two summer interns. Both interns are from the Dallas Metroplex and both are saturated in Dallas sports. While on the sales floor, they have worked side by side with the sales team to fill the American Airlines Center at every home game, making cold calls, selling suite packages and immersing themselves in the sales atmosphere. Soon-to-be University of North Texas graduate William Davis has enjoyed the rowdy atmosphere of the office and the relationships he has formed with his colleagues and mentors.
“My favorite thing about the Dallas Stars is the atmosphere on the sales floor,” Davis said. “These guys are crazy, but great people.”
In the future, Davis dreams of calling the shots for the Texas Rangers as General Manager.
Fellow sales intern Mark Voosen is also close to making his own walk across the Southern Methodist University graduation stage. SMU senior Voosen is not a new to the sports’ environment as this will be his fourth year to play Mustang football. Voosen says this internship has been “a step in the right direction towards my goals.” His time with the Stars will assist in his pursuit of a career in sports management and advertising.
The Corporate Partnership department hired two interns to build relationship with sponsors who will support events throughout the season. Tristan Weiner and Heather Steinbauer spent four months with the organization and take pride in the internal blog they created. Weiner will enter her senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as she works to earn a degree in Finance. As an avid Green Bay Packers fan, Weiner has enjoyed being around a professional sports team. Steinbauer recently graduated from SMU with a degree in applied physiology and sports management and utilized her knowledge to gain invaluable experience this summer.
“I have learned so much over the summer,” Steinbauer said. “Between learning all about sales force to creating the blog on the website to putting together proposals and contracts, it has all been a blast.”
The two are excited to see their hard work pay off when their blog goes live in the upcoming weeks.
Rachel Santschi recently started as the Stars Social Media intern and is now one of the voices behind breaking news tweets, Facebook updates and pictures posted online. Only graduating a few months ago from the University of Oklahoma, Santschi joined the Stars staff and hopes to utilize her journalism degree. Only two weeks into her internship she has already created a psyche up video for the upcoming season.
“I want to be side line reporter or sports anchor but I love getting to interact with fans here,” Santschi said.
This summer three interns assisted the Public Relations team in spreading team news, interviewing prospects, assisting with Development Camp and preparing the upcoming season’s Media Guide. Bennett Jensen started as a full-time seasonal apprentice. As the season concluded, Jensen continued with the Stars and was an important asset in off-season efforts. Recent Sooner alumni Dana Swann and Indiana University sophomore Sarah Taylor were hired on to assist and learn from the team for the duration of the summer.
“I’ve learned so much in the short time I’ve been here,” Swann said. “And my writing has improved tremendously.”
Both Swann and Taylor are proud of the online stories they contributed to the Stars website and have enjoyed experiencing what it’s like to work on the inside of sports’ public relations.
“I think my supervisor probably dried up five red pens editing the first story I ever turned in, I’m confident in saying I’m down to just one after this summer,” Swann joked. “It’s been an awesome few months working here.”
Dallas Baptist University senior Taylor Brainard might be graduating in December, but she has been polishing her graphic design skills through her internship with the Dallas Stars Graphic Design department all summer. Brainard works with the rest of the graphics’ team in what Stars employees refer to as “the cave.” According to Brainard, “being in the cave is never boring. Everyone here is creative and always has something interesting to say.” The joking atmosphere hasn’t kept her from gaining knowledge in the field. Brainard says she feels more confident going back to her final semester of college with the skills she has developed at the Stars. Maybe her newly developed skills will help her land her dream job of working for an advertising agency.
As a testament to the Stars intern program, Tyler Ludwig went from intern to Accounts Payable Coordinator in his time with the Stars. Ludwig attended Western Michigan University and graduated in 2010 with a degree in finance and a minor in business and economics. Ludwig is no stranger to the hockey system. Tyler, son of Stars player Craig Ludwig, plays for the San Antonio Rampage and hopes to continue his professional hockey career along with owning his own business one day.
The Dallas Stars are proud to be mentoring young professionals as they become the future of the professional sports experience across the nation. The team is grateful for all their hard work and contributions throughout the duration of their internships.
Story written by 2012-13 Interns Dana Swann and Sarah Taylor