Friday, March 14, 2014

Roll Chiefs!: My experience as an intern for the Kansas City Chiefs

Roll Chiefs!

This has been the motto adopted by the 2014 spring intern class for this Kansas City sports franchise. Even in the face of inclement weather, (which has forced me to question if I accidentally enrolled for the fall semester), I have been exposed to the inner workings of what it is to run a professional sports organization. It has been an experience I previously only thought about as a child and still have trouble believing has come to fruition.

The field at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Chiefs.
In case you aren’t familiar with who I am, my name is Tim Farrell and am a senior here at Post University. I am studying Sport Management and will be graduating this coming May. Back in October, I was offered a position as an intern with the Suites and Hospitality department with the Kansas City Chiefs and, as you can imagine, I accepted immediately. When I told Professor Grabel and the rest of the school about this great opportunity they thought it would be a good idea to have me document my time out in Kansas City so other students can get a better look at what it’s like to work for a professional sports organization.

A little insight to my life almost 1,300 miles from home: My apartment is small and my budget is even smaller. My car has topped 100,000 miles thanks to the 22 hour drive out (my second trip to the wonderful state of Missouri) and my body is still getting used to the typical grind of a 9-5 job that the majority of the working world has to endure on a daily basis. Nothing is glamorous about my life outside of work, but once I step foot into the office I am transported behind the curtain of what everyone in America gets to watch on Sundays for the better part of the fall.

Three men walking toward Arrowhead Stadium
Outside Arrowhead Stadium
It has been almost 2 months to the day since I first walked into the home of the Chiefs here at The University of Kansas Training Complex in Kansas City. I was accepted into this internship class working in the Suites & Hospitality department serving both service coordinators and suite sales managers. Basically, my job duties involve everything from dealing with issues and any questions that suite holders (companies who currently own suites at Arrowhead Stadium) may have to organizing events that help build value and make the idea of owning a suite more enticing to potential clients.

In fact, the reason this blog had been delayed for the first two months was because I have been put in charge of creating, organizing, and running an upcoming event for all suite holders with the Chiefs. A future post will include this event in more detail, but just for introductory purposes, the event is a watch party and cocktail gathering for potential clients and current suite holders outside of the Sprint Center during the semifinal round of the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament. It has been a very busy time for me, getting used to dealing with individuals in a business setting but incredibly rewarding, especially since I had earned the trust of my supervisors in such a short amount of time for them to allow me to undertake this task.

It’s hard to pinpoint my daily duties for the department as they have been changing week to week, and sometime even day to day, but there is a healthy balance of both interesting projects and fun assignments as well as typical “intern work” that everyone expects to do when they first start out. I’ve filed paperwork, scanned contracts, mailed packages and letters, and even made deliveries all across downtown Kansas City.

K.C. Chiefs staff posing at the Souper Bowl of Caring event
Tim Farrell ( on right, in front of KC Wolf) at the "Souper Bowl of Caring"
One of the more important and interesting pieces I’ve learned from working here with the Chiefs is that they are an organization dedicated to volunteering and helping the community. One of the biggest charity events they hold every year is “The Souper Bowl of Caring” which is held at the nearby Harvesters food pantry. It is a competition between members of the Chiefs organization that includes everyone from my intern group all the way up to the president of the organization, Mark Donovan, to see who can pack more bags of food in an hour. I hate to admit it but my team came in second. I blame it on KC Wolf, the team’s mascot, as he couldn’t get a good grip on any of the bags with his giant furry hands…

You can read more about the Chiefs involvement with the event and how it benefits the community here.

I wanted to get a brief introduction and some background as to what my first two months have been like out of the way so that my future posts can be more detailed and get a bit more specific on what I am currently working on. I am also going to be including photos and some video into these entries just to give more of a “behind-the-scenes” feel to this whole exercise.

Stay tuned for more updates and what I hope to be some very valuable and interesting info!

Roll Chiefs!

- Tim

Tim Farrell is a senior at Post University studying Sport Management.