2012Nov 22

SPAD Internship Profile: Kory Lafreniere and the Bluefield Blue Jays

Kory Lafrenier, a valued member of the Toronto Blue Jays minor league affiliate in Bluefield, West Virginia. Kory is on the far left, third from the bottom.By SPAD Blogger Cameron Brooks

The conclusion of third year for SPAD students is usually an exciting one, as most begin their internships and gain their first impressions of the sport business industry.   Many of our students have great experiences and do fantastic work with their organizations and fourth year student Kory Lafreniere is another one of the many fortunate and hard-working students.  Kory had the opportunity of working for Toronto Blue Jays affiliate, Bluefield Blue Jays which resulted in a unique job opportunity at its conclusion.  The following is a summary of Kory’s internship experience, in Kory’s own words:

This past summer I was fortunate to have spent my time with the Minor League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Bluefield Blue Jays.  This team is based in Bluefield, West Virginia and plays in the Appalachian League, which consists of 10 teams throughout four different states.

Having the opportunity to work within Minor League Baseball was truly a great experience.  Prior to accepting my internship with Bluefield, I had set my sights on interning with an MLB team without knowing how important, invaluable, and influential a Minor League experience can be.  Bluefield operates with such a small staff that the interns were given the ability to manage and be responsible for the sustainability of an entire department.  I was the “Manager of Guest Service,” which basically meant I managed 10-12 game day staff per game.  They were responsible for concessions, servicing fans, on-field product and other elements of game day operations.  The onus was on me to hire, schedule and manage each employee.

As I previously stated, because Bluefield was such a small operation, George (interim GM and team President) relied on the interns to help with every facet of running the team.  One of the ways I greatly benefited from working in Bluefield was through the excellent opportunities networking with industry professionals.  Every game (especially leading up the trade deadline), countless scouts, front office executives, and team representatives from various MLB teams would come and watch the Blue Jays and their opponents.  I took advantage of these opportunities by speaking with and learning from these industry leaders and have since developed a great network of contacts which will assist greatly in my career development.  With that said, I am taking advantage of my time by going to the Winter Meetings in Nashville in early December to reconnect with my contacts and build on relationships that I developed in Bluefield.  The importance of networking and maintaining those relationships throughout the offseason is very important.

Having completed his internship in Bluefield has helped Kory in gaining employment with the Toronto Raptors, where he currently works as an intern.  He works in the Community and Sport Partnership department of the organization, and uses this job to compliment the experiences he had in Bluefield to help better himself as a future professional in the baseball industry.  It is easy to see that Kory made a big impact down in Bluefield with his invitation to the baseball Winter Meetings in the next few weeks.  The work he completed demonstrates the value that SPAD students can bring to an organization while on their internships, and we wish Kory the best of luck at the upcoming meetings in Nashville.

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