Interning with the Chiefs gives a glimpse of a future in sports
Story by Becky Trader ’23, an English and communication studies major from Seaford, Delaware.
This summer I was an intern with the Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp. My experience was greater than I ever could have imagined thanks to my amazing team of other interns. From early mornings to our one day of being soaked by the rain, they helped me keep spirits up and make camp an amazing experience for fans.
Since my sophomore year, I’ve known I’ve wanted to work in sports. At Furman, I work for the women’s basketball team as a student manager. During the pandemic, I went from only doing film during practice and home games to being the head manager after our previous one graduated. It was through that experience that I learned I wanted to work in sports and be around sports for the rest of my life.
Working with the Chiefs got me one step closer to my ultimate goal of working full time for an NFL team in the operations, marketing, or fan experience departments.
As an intern, I worked with the Chiefs Event Staff to run the daily operations of camp. My daily tasks varied from working in the kid zone, driving accessibility or family golf carts, checking people in at the VIP and family tents, signing people up for the Chiefs Kingdom Kids club, and being the camp runner for the day.
My favorite day in kid zone had to be the times I ended up doing the drill with the kids. If a kid didn’t have anyone to race, sometimes I “raced” them to ensure they had a good time and that they won.
As the Chiefs Kingdom Kids salesperson, my job was to convince parents to sign their children up for the free kids club the Chiefs offer to fans 12 and under. During a five-hour period, I signed 100 kids up to the Kid’s Club.
The day I was camp runner, I walked over 13 miles! I was exhausted the next day but none of my teammates wanted for anything in the heat.
We also got to have some fun while in Kansas City. We toured Arrowhead Stadium and our guide taught us about Lamar Hunt and how he helped form the AFL, or the modern AFC in the NFL. We got to tour one of the suites, see the team’s game-day locker room, walk through the tunnel, take pictures next to the field, view the area where Coach Andy Reid and select players talk to the media post game, and check out the new team museum where both the Lombardi trophies are.
That same day, we also were treated with tickets to the Royals game where three of my teammates were in the hot dog race. They had fireworks post game that night and it was one of the best firework shows I’ve ever seen!
I have so many people to thank for my experience but special thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work their camp.
Returning to Furman, I’ve seen a change in myself. Fan experience and what we do for fans is not as cut and dry as it used to be in my mind. Watching the Chiefs on television, I find myself somewhat rooting for them even though I’ve been a Seattle fan my whole life. After putting blood, sweat, and tears into working their training camp, I want to see them succeed.
Next summer, I hope to have a seasonal internship with an NFL team so I have a year to learn, grow, and find my place in the sports world. For now, I’m more than happy to sit back, wash player loops, and enjoy the ride.