Journalism major Jeremy Sharp admits he had no idea what he was getting himself into this summer when he signed on as an intern for the Schaumburg Boomers, an Independent Frontier League baseball team near Chicago. One day, the title “Media Relations Assistant” included playing “Coop the Boomer,” team mascot.
Sharp, (Cincinnati, OH) , spent his days contributing to the team’s website as well as the Boomers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. But that’s just the tip of the Titanic-sized iceberg.
“I always think I have a decent idea of what I’m going to be doing on a given day when I come in to work,” Sharp said, “but then one of our players will get signed by a big league team or The Onion will be shooting a commercial here and everything changes at a moment’s notice.”
The title “Media Relations Assistant” didn’t limit this sports enthusiast to just writing duties over the summer. As he quickly learned, being a member of a minor league baseball team means doing a little of everything, no matter your job title.
Just like the other 14 interns, the sales staff, and even the general manager, everyone knows the phrase “that’s not my job” is not part of this team’s culture.
Sharp enjoyed a diverse range of tasks , from ticket sales to stadium operations, lost and found manager to glow-stick salesman, and made several game appearances as Coop.
And he’s loved every second of it.
“Working here is fun; it’s a great feeling coming into the office every day and knowing that you’re going to do some really unique things, all so other people can come here and have a good time,” he said. “I’m a fun-loving person, and this is a baseball team where we’re all about fun. Throw in all the hands-on work I’m getting, and this is a perfect learning experience.”
This is Sharp’s first IWU internship for credit, but he also had a more conventional journalism internship at a Cincinnati newspaper when he was in high school. He returns this fall for a second year as editor-in-chief of The Sojourn, IWU’s student newspaper, and said this experience broadened his definition of a journalist in the modern age.
“Being a journalist doesn’t just mean writing anymore,” Sharp said. “Being a journalist means contributing in every way you can. I know I’m going to be writing for a career, but what I don’t know is what else will come with it.”
But he will probably leave “Coop’s” beak in someone else’s hands.