“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.” – Laurence J. Peter
This semester I will profile students from the program to help give you a better understanding of the program in different ways. This week is Kimberely Silverstein, a first year whom was an on-campus student in the fall but took an internship with the Houston Astros that started in January 2013. Enjoy!!
Working for Major League Baseball has been a dream of mine ever since I chose to pursue a career in sports and this semester, my dream came true. After sort of applying on a whim, never really considering that I’d get accepted, I applied for an internship position with the Houston Astros. Within a week of applying, I was offered the position of Ticket Sales and Service Intern and went into the crazy process of withdrawing from student housing and moving to Houston, TX!
A lot of people disregard working in a tickets department, but I love it. I can’t speak for any other professional team yet, but here at the Astros, there’s just a great team dynamic with the ticketing staff and everyone is very friendly and helpful; they’re the ideal sales people! From day one of my internship program, I was accepted as a part of that team. I spent the first two weeks in Houston going through the training process with eleven new hires from the Inside Sales staff and have performed the exact same tasks as they have ever since. Of course as an intern I do also perform various office duties such as getting supplies from the warehouse and such, but I still make calls, set sales appointments, and meet with clients.
In fact, in my third week as an intern, I made my very first sale! It was probably the most exciting moment thus far just because I was able to see the whole process unfold because of me. I called a single game buyer from the 2012 season, took him and his family on the tour of the ballpark, and sold him four 28-game plans. I love the sales process with the Astros and am surprised that many professional teams don’t do the same!
We don’t sell over the phone. Of course we can if that’s what the customer wants, but we like to get them down for a tour of the ballpark; we get them into the suites, club level, press box, dugouts, clubhouse, and on the field. It is amazing. I never get tired of seeing their faces light up when their feet touch the warning track. I mean how many people can say they’ve stepped on a major league field? After they’re amazed of course we take them to sections of the park they’re interested in and give the sales pitch. Once they can actually sit in the seats they’re thinking of purchasing, it’s fairly easy to get the sale.
Now although a good amount of time is spent on calls, appointments, and sales, that’s not all that I get to do. I get to shadow virtually any department within the organization. I’ve helped with projects for Business Development as well as the Grounds Crew and have met people from every department. So, if you’re looking to get your foot in the door of professional sports, my advice is to never disregard sales. You never know who you’ll meet, or what door may open. Timing and a little bit of luck can go a long way, but you have to make yourself known first. Go out there and explore a little because you never know where life may lead you.