Andrew Stockmann expected his internship in the Omaha Storm Chasers’ ticket operations office to teach him the ins and outs of ticketing for the minor league baseball team.
But when he spent a week in April planting 100 pansies outside the stadium, Andrew realized he was getting much more than the niche ticketing experience he was anticipating.
Andrew, a Wichita State University senior in sport management, moved to Omaha in March. He started his job on March 9. Three days later, the Storm Chasers announced that their season would be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, that changed the focus of Andrew’s internship.
Nebraska doesn’t have a stay-at-home order, so Andrew continues to work at the stadium.
“I’ve been very careful obviously, but there are some things that can only be done there. I’ve had to help out other departments. They’ve been really accommodating in helping me get my internship hours,” he said.
Aside from planting flowers, Stockmann also helped fulfill online orders through the team store and put up brackets in right field for the minor league soccer team that shares the stadium with the Storm Chasers.
“I didn’t know how much I would be working with the soccer team initially, but I would say my job is about 75% baseball and 25% soccer,” he said. “It’s been a different experience within the organization – not just ticketing, but also stadium operations.”
With the team’s inability to play baseball, Andrew’s hours have been cut from 40 hours to 20 hours a week, which is something Wichita State faculty has taken into account, given the current circumstances.
“The Sport Management program has modified the requirements a little bit, which has been really nice. They’ve provided some additional assignments if I’m not able to get all 640 required hours. I’m about a third of the way there, so we’ll see how long I’m able to keep working and go from there,” he said.
Andrew has been grateful to the Storm Chasers’ willingness to help him complete his internship
“My supervisor said that they’ve made a commitment to me as an intern and employee,” he said.
His supervisor has been impressed with Andrew’s ability to change focus and expand his internship duties beyond the ticket office.
“Andrew has done a wonderful job adapting to the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused,” said Anna Corbett, director of ticket operations and business systems for the Omaha Storm Chasers. “He’s been flexible and willing to work where we need help.”
The sport management program at Wichita State has been integral in preparing Andrew for his internship, he said.
“I think my time at Wichita State was crucial in helping me prepare for this internship. All my classes really focused on the work experience, and it has all tied back to the practical experience you’re gaining the field,” he said.
Things are still up in the air as to what Andrew will be doing after he graduates in May. He said he prefers to work in baseball, but he’ll widen his job search to include all aspects of the sports industry.
“Now that I have some experience with ticketing and the systems used, I think that will be something I pursue after graduation,” Andrew said.