Twintern Insider: Bjorn Norderhaug

We’re almost halfway through the season, and I have to say that I am both honored and blessed to be working for such a wonderful organization. This internship has not only given me a greater depth of knowledge of my field, it has also provided me many wonderful mentors as well. Whether I have a question or concern, my seniors have always been open and helpful with every uncertainty, no matter how trite it may seem. Their doors have always been open and they have always found time to answer my questions or to at least point me in the right direction. This has helped me tremendously in the development of my work skills and business knowledge and I am truly grateful for all they have shown me.

Being a technology intern, I have not only been exposed to the basic responsibilities of IT, I have also developed my coding skills as well. This has been very beneficial in observing both the developmental and maintenance aspect of technology. In school, there is a greater focus on theory, but the Twins have provided me an environment to focus on the business application of these principles. Whether it be writing applications for certain departments, or fixing TV’s from around the stadium, these opportunities have cultivated my skills not only as a programmer but as a business professional as well. Through the development of these applications, I have also learned about the importance of technology in a major league sports franchise.

After the hysteria of Opening Day and the constant development in the front office from the first half of the season, the craze has begun to settle. Both the ballplayers and I have begun to fall into our respective positions, and the long stretch of summer home stands (and projects) are upon us. Not only am I in a position to work on such innovative projects, I get to do it for an organization I have come to know and love my entire life. With the department I am in, and the administration I have to look up to and ask questions, this has been the perfect summer internship. I am interested to see not only what the rest of this internship entails but also what our baseball team has in store.

Bjorn Norderhaug,

Technology Intern

Opening Day 2016: Welcome To The Show

Opening Day 2016 exceeded every expectation I had. There was so much going on, so much excitement, and it all started at 3:45AM. Yup, you read that right. That’s what time I had set my alarm in order to be at the Target Field at 5:45AM.

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The day began with the Breakfast on the Plaza event. Front Office staff, interns, and volunteers showed up ready to kick off Opening Day. We handed out hot dogs, brats, coffee, soda, chips, Hi-Chew, and a bunch of other giveaways. Believe it or not, that combination of food tastes pretty good at 7:00AM. Why not start off Opening Day with a proper baseball breakfast? People loved it, and were surprised by how much food/goodies they were actually getting. It was so fun to see everyone dressed in their Twins gear! Even though it was 30 degrees and windy, all the volunteers had an awesome time. I wouldn’t have wanted to kick off the Home Opener any other way.

Next on the agenda was getting everything set for pre-game. My responsibility was making sure the University of Minnesota Raptor Center Eagles made it to the field on time. This involved meeting them at the parking lot, and walking them to the field. I was with the eagles and on the field for all the pregame ceremonies, which is an experience I will never forget. I had one of the best seats in the house watching the player introductions, national anthem, and flyover.

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Thank you Minnesota Twins for the once in a lifetime experience. This is definitely a Home Opener I will never forget. Bring on the rest of the 2016 season!

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Go Twins!

Elizabeth Covelli

Marketing Intern

It’s Just the Beginning!!!

It’s still hard for me to believe it’s real. I work for the best sports team in existence (I suppose my opinion may be biased). My journey to becoming a Twintern was a long one—it started when I was born into a family of Twins fans 22 years ago and it continued through my Minnesota upbringing and even through my college years in California. While I was still in school in San Diego, I applied for the internship in October, interviewed in November, and got the good news in December. Then, it was back to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for me. I officially started with the Community Relations department on February 29th (I think starting on Leap Day was good luck).

As an intern for the Community Relations department, I have the privilege of working with the Twins Community Fund. We give grants to towns and organizations to renovate their baseball fields and to help develop their youth leagues. We give tickets to non-profits in Twins Territory, which allows for many people to come to games that would not otherwise have the opportunity. And we do many other things to enrich local communities. I love that my job allows me to help people through the game of baseball.

I believe in the power of America’s favorite pastime—the sound of a stadium full of fans singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, the deafening cheers for a hometown hero, the way floodlights light up an outdoor ballpark at night. I believe that baseball has a beautiful ability to bring a communities together and to bring joy and happiness to people and now, through my internship, I get to be a part of this. It is pretty incredible.

With the Home Opener right around the corner, things are about to get even better and crazier. Go Twins!

Allison Agre

Community Relations Intern

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#CapsOn For Opening Day 2016!!!

 

IT’S OFFICIAL! The 2016 Major League Baseball season is under way! The #CapsOn initiative was a huge success around the country and around the ballpark at Target Field. As far as the 2016 class of Twinterns, we are as ready as ever with our #CapsOn for the upcoming season! GO TWINS!

From Twins Territory,

Caleb Peabody

Social Media Intern

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Reading is Powerful—And so was Jackie Robinson!

One of the cool things I get to do as a Diversity Marketing Intern is coordinate Jackie Robinson-themed literacy visits at local elementary schools. This year, I visited 20 schools and had the opportunity to directly impact over 2,200 fourth and fifth grade students. Volunteers from the Twins staff (including interns!) shared Jackie’s story and taught the students how they can use his nine values (courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence) to overcome their own personal barriers—just like Jackie Robinson did. The program also relayed the message “reading is powerful,” as depicted on the bookmarks and posters we gave to schools. Today we concluded the third and final week of these visits for 2016.

I loved this project because it gave me the opportunity to use important business skills (organization, communication, networking, etc.) while also allowing me to go out into the community and share an important message with kids. For me, this internship is the perfect combination of working in a competitive business environment and doing good things in the community. The Twins are Minnesota’s only professional sports team with a department dedicated to diversity, and my hope is that other teams will follow our organization’s example and embrace the importance of appealing to emerging markets. I even got to do my presentation in Spanish at one of the schools!

I am looking forward to seeing what other fun projects I can be a part of as we roll into baseball season!

Erin Kelly,

Diversity Marketing Operations Intern

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The Calm Before the Storm

As I waited to come in for my first official day with the club after accepting the offer of an intern on the technology team, I felt both anxious and excited. Not only towards to specifics of the position, but because of the timing. I was coming into a time where the offseason was winding down, Twinsfest was approaching, and spring training beginning shortly thereafter. On top of this, I had never experienced Twinsfest before, so I was excited to be a part of it. Everything was new, and I was like a sponge soaking up every second of it!

When I wasn’t running around with the other members of the team making sure things were running smoothly, I felt like a little kid again being able to walk around and experience Twinsfest. I did my best to keep my wallet in my pocket, but believe me when I say there is some of the COOLEST memorabilia that you could imagine at Twinsfest! The excitement and atmosphere in the stadium made the weekend fly by. My favorite part personally, was something completely unexpected or planned. My favorite player, Brian Dozier, was being escorted through the front office area. I was sitting at my computer and he comes up behind me, pats me on the back, and asks how things are going. It’s hard to compose yourself when you’re surprised by someone you look up to like that, but that’s something I’ll always remember how my favorite player made me feel like part of the team.

As Twinsfest passed, the focus shifted towards Florida. Fort Myers to be specific, as Spring Training was fast approaching. We prepared everything that needed to be shipped down from Target Field. This included: ticket kiosks that had to be configured for the Fort Myers network, gathering equipment for new wireless access points, and many other pieces of technology equipment.

Spring training had been going smoothly and now it is time to switch focus again. Members of the Technology Team are down in Fort Myers to assist with the operations there, while the rest of us are trying to ensure Target Field is ready for opening day. Our team organized the Opening Day Checklist to help keep track of the myriad of tasks that need to completed as we un-winterize the ballpark. A few of the things on the list are: updating the computers used seasonally by staff throughout the ballpark (ticket windows, weather room, clubhouses, etc), ensuring the bloggers and reporters in the pressbox have a stable, secure connection to the internet, and even verifying the phones going from the dugout to the bullpens work; so that Glen Perkins can be called in to save the game!

Being a part of the technology team has given me the chance to learn and interact with different pieces of software and equipment that I previously had very little experience with. Sure I’m good with computers, but audio, television, and all the other types of technology used throughout the ballpark are things I’m not an expert at by any means. Through my general knowledge of how these devices work, combined with the help and training of the other members of my team, I’ve become so much well versed as a technology professional. On top of that, it’s been fun every step of the way. The best part? THE SEASON HASN’T EVEN STARTED!

Sincerely,

Ryan Kollmann

Technology Intern

 

Going Digital: A Review of TwinsFest 2016 through the Eyes of the Digital Clubhouse

TwinsFest 2016 has now come and gone, the fans have left the premise of Target Field, and all is quiet on all fronts before the 2016 season begins. As January transitioned into February, the feeling that winter was beginning to transition from winter to spring has begun. A feeling of change is in the air as the new baseball season approaches. With that change, the reflection period of TwinsFest 2016 is in full effect before the quick transition into Spring Training and then the regular season begins.

Before: This year was the first TwinsFest I had ever experienced as an intern and I was fortunate enough to be working in the Digital Clubhouse and getting my first face-to-face interaction with Twins fans before the 2016 season. The Digital Clubhouse made an appearance coming out of the cold for TwinsFest 2016 from the icy concourse to the warmth of Target Field. In the weeks leading up to TwinsFest 2016, I was able to experience all the craziness that goes into a successful TwinsFest experience. The process for me all began with meetings, social media planning, preparing check-in offers, helping with any technology setups/questions, and promoting TwinsFest via social media contests. In observation, it was very evident to me that the team makes the dream happen. In meetings, I observed all the crucial parts each individual department plays in the weeks and months leading up to TwinsFest. The Digital Clubhouse plays a role in that preparation; I learned the process of what it takes to make sure we give the fans the best possible experience that they could imagine when they walk into Target Field.

During: Going into my first day of TwinsFest, I did not know what to fully expect and how the fans would react to the awesome setup we had at the Digital Clubhouse. Would they like our setup? Were we missing anything? Would they be interested in what we were offering? From check-in offers, to the fan selfie station equipped with player emojis, updating the live feed for Twitter, engaging fans to enjoy the always addicting Twins Tiles, the excitement for the doors to open was building up for me and for the rest of the team at the Digital Clubhouse.

Moments Before: Then it happened. The doors opened, fans rushed in to gain their first experience of TwinsFest 2016. Fans engulfed the concourse to meet their favorite Twins player and in the Digital Clubhouse, fans aligned to get their picture taken with their favorite player. Fans came in constant waves, essentially crashing into our space with excitement to bring their individual piece of Twins Territory to the Digital Clubhouse. Throughout the weekend, photos flowed in from all over the ballpark promoting #TwinsFest2016. Check-in offers were a huge success in helping prepare and promote the Ballpark app before the season begins. This year felt extra special with having the Heart of 29 campaign being announced by all-time Twins great Rod Carew. The fan excitement around the campaign, TwinsFest 2016, Spring Training, and the upcoming season gave the event the same excitement feeling as if the season were already here. The excitement at the Digital Clubhouse was a great teaser into the excitement surrounding this team and this upcoming season. I felt very fortunate and honored to be playing a major role in continuing the success of TwinsFest. It was such a pleasure to be working the Digital Clubhouse and promoting the Digital Clubhouse by interacting with Twins fans as we move into the very exciting 2016 season!

After: In the days after TwinsFest 2016, the excitement and momentum has grown from TwinsFest as the season quickly approaches: 13 days for pitchers & catchers to report, 23 days until the first Spring Training game, 56 days until the regular season begins. Planning and executing an event such as TwinsFest has given myself a great perspective in the importance of planning, research, communication, and execution. These life skills not only played a crucial role for TwinsFest 2016, but will also be crucial throughout the rest of the season! TwinsFest 2016 has laid a great foundation for myself and the Digital Clubhouse team going into the season and I am excited to work further with the many different teams and departments around the ballpark. This season is going to be one for the ages and I can’t wait to take part in it here at Target Field!

Sincerely,

Caleb Peabody

Social Media Intern

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Behind-The-Scenes with TFE: TwinsFest 2016

The Inside Look on TwinsFest 2016

Thousands of people attend the largest annual fundraiser for the Twins Community Fund every year. Individuals wait at Target Field entrances ready to rush the doors bursting with enthusiasm. This year was no different for TwinsFest. TwinsFest is a weekend long event that gives all Minnesota Twins fans an exclusive and personal look at all things Twins! It is also a great way to boost excitement for not only Spring Training, but also for the upcoming season. Whether it is a personal item being signed by a favorite player, or a family outing, TwinsFest is sure to create memories that last a lifetime. However, this weekend-long event does not happen overnight!

The Target Field Events team had begun preparation months in advance. While most fans experience the beginning of TwinsFest on Friday afternoon, the real work began nights and even weeks before. Every inch of Target Field is changed in anticipation of TwinsFest meaning thousands of steps across the building, stacking and unstacking of chairs, and sleepless nights all for one main goal: a successful TwinsFest.

To give you a little idea of this stadium-wide flip, imagine prepping for a 500+ person banquet event on Thursday night knowing that that same space must be ready for Human Foosball and GO 96.3 the following day. Sound simple to you? Think of all the tables and chairs laid out for your Thursday banquet dinner that have to magically disappear. Remember, this is just one of the spaces that needs to be changed for the stadium-wide event.

The main set-up for TwinsFest consists of the dreaded Thursday night “Flip” after the completion of Diamond Awards, hosted by the University of Minnesota Foundation. This flips involves numerous staff and volunteers contributing long hours perfecting the setup of TwinsFest. It takes positivity and encouragement to keep your coworkers going as the setup steals more of your sleep. It takes teamwork and communication to match each venue to their respective paper layouts. It takes breaking out into dance moves and silly laughter to lift the final chair into its perfect spot.

If asked if they would do this process over again, most people would say “No” in a heartbeat. But if you ask one of us, our answer will be yes, every single time.

We may have been here for hours on end, but those are the memories we are going to take away from our internship. Blasting music in the venues to keep the energy up, a pizza party break to refuel, and being surrounded by a group of people that’s main goal is to put together an unbelievable event for every fan that walks in the door is something you truly cannot replace.

While many people may read this and think, “Are they crazy? That doesn’t sound like fun.” it is safe to say we knew what we are signing up for! Welcome to the crazy busy life of an Event Coordinator. The Target Field Events team along with several other departments devoted days and nights to establishing a successful 2016 TwinsFest. While we may have left with blisters on our feet, nothing can replace the feeling of accomplishment and relief after seeing fans of all ages exit Target Field with smiles on their faces!

We may not be down on the field or hanging out in the press box, but the combination of events and the sporting industry is our dream come true. We are truly grateful for this experience with the Minnesota Twins and Target Field Events!

Sincerely,

Brooklyn Reilly & Carrie Geary

A Tale of Two Bullpens and Beyond: One Team, One Dream.

Pitchers and catchers may not be reporting for another 30 days, but the new class of Twinterns are already warming up in the bullpens and around the field. With a new season upon us, a new set of challenges and tasks await the 2016 Twinterns along with a plethora of new experiences on the horizon. Our workspaces, or bullpens, are where it all begins for many Twinterns!

With that said, a MLB team is made up of more than just its bullpens. It takes the strength of its entire squad to succeed. Shout out to all the interns that are posted throughout Target Field; this post is written from our view of bullpen life, while knowing that every department has its own “bullpen” and intern team that makes the dream a reality.

With a new record of interns this season (38), it seems only fitting to have our first blog post of the season be about our work spaces. It was not an easy task to find a place to fit all of us. Bullpen 2.0 is a reformed combination of a storage closet and the former diversity marketing office. Our bullpens and cubicles are the places where we will create, problem solve, and accomplish our goals in order for the boys of summer to succeed and where we will contribute to the success of the Twins organization.

Baseball bullpens and intern bullpens are extremely similar in many ways. Just like in the actual game, our intern bullpens are where everything essentially begins. Our warmups consist of taking calls, emails, research on tasks, etc. In the game of baseball a starting pitcher’s routine before a game is crucial to their game day success. Same goes for us, the routines we have started to build in our first couple of weeks and in the weeks to come will be the crucial factor in maintaining our success through the season in all tasks that we do.

With the addition of the new bullpen this year, the comparison can be made of strengthening a bullpen in the major leagues. This new bullpen creates an opportunity for us to open and start the day off strong and close the day in our own unique community spaces and maintain a team atmosphere that is second to none. Just like in baseball, you need your bullpen to be prepared for the long haul that is the MLB season. As a Twintern things such as: your resources, your tools, your research, your passion, and your personality will be your best friends for having a successful season.

The beautiful thing about our bullpens that reflect a major league bullpen is this: we are all ONE team. We have a coach, mentor, or a boss, very close to us to help guide us through our learning experience. We have our departments that focus us to develop a unique skill set—our catcher doesn’t need to be throwing curveballs. We have teammates in each other, we are here to help each other succeed so the team can succeed. We all have one vision, one dream, as one team. We are the 2016 Twinterns.

Whether in the original bullpen, bullpen 2.0, or throughout the rest of the ballpark, the opportunities are endless as we are stacked with a solid rotation with many new faces coming our way to join the team as the season progresses towards opening day. No matter where you are located or what inning you enter the game, as Twinterns we all play a crucial role in a successful experience and a successful season.

Big Picture: The spaces that we work in and the people that we work with will bring added value to a successful internship and successful season with the Minnesota Twins. At the end of the day, we are all ONE team, with ONE dream.

Have a great 2016 Twintern experience and have a great 2016 Twins season!

GO TWINS!

Sincerely from bullpen 2.0,

Caleb Peabody & Sarah Juntunen

#OneTeamOneDream

To: The Minnesota Twins From: Mitch Kukay

To the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club,

Thank you.

Thank you so very much for the opportunity to spend my summer and most of 2015 within your organization. Thank you for the chance to learn. Thank you for the chance to grow. Thank you for introducing me to amazing people within your front office and your event staff. Thank you for giving me lifelong friends in my Twinternship group. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for giving me the chance to enjoy America’s pastime with family and friends.

From the phone interviews, to the in person interview, to receiving the call offering me a spot within your organization, I still cannot believe I became a part of the Twins family. From the first day in snowy February feeling lost to Game 162 where I know the park backwards and forwards, I still cannot believe how much I was able to do during my time here. From the early mornings to the late nights, I will cherish every second I spent at Target Field.

Staff outings, a front office mini golf tournament, a charity softball tournament, and numerous happy hours were just a few of the added bonuses of being a part of this great family.

Whether I worked alongside of you every day, or only worked with you in passing, I hope I was able to do the best I could to help with whatever was needed to be done. I hope my contribution helped in some way, shape, or form down the line.  162 games came and went, and it feels as if the season was gone in the blink of an eye.

To my Twinternship Class,

We all came into this season as strangers, well most of us. But we are leaving as lifelong friends. Coming from all across the country, we all will go down our separate paths after we are done. I hope to remain the best of friends with you all no matter the distance, as I have enjoyed this internship in large part thanks to you all. I miss you all already, and it hasn’t even been a month since I took my final steps out of Target Field. From everyone’s sense of humor to dance styles, we all had a great time together and being away from you all makes me want to go back so much.  I wish you all the best of luck as you continue your journeys and I hope we can continue to share our journeys together whether by calling, texting or social media.

To the Ballpark Operations Department,

Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for bringing me on board for an awesome season in Twins Territory. I really loved being able to contribute to the club with the little tasks every now and then keeping the big picture in mind. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to help with Target Field Station events, the Big Ten Baseball Tournament, and the Kenny Chesney Concert weekend on top of baseball games. Operations may not sound like the most glamourous area of work, but learning all that goes into every detail has given me more of an appreciation of the sports industry. I will not take for granted any part of this summer.

So for one last time, thank you. Thank you all.

Mitch Kukay

2015 Twintern Class

The Minnesota Twins 2015 Intern Class