Day 5: Welcome to My House

Carson Holden 2016

I cannot believe we’ve already made it through a full workweek as MSBA 2016 students. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was filling out the application, convincing my parents that spending a summer in New York was an amazing idea, and calling home in a flurry of excitement when I was accepted. It was actually not that long ago that I was nervously packing and saying my goodbyes for the summer. I can’t believe I ever considered not applying, and now that I’ve spent a week with the other program participants, I can’t believe I was nervous about meeting them.

“MSBA speakers continue to surprise me with the small lessons they teach that can be applied to my preferred path.”

The annual first-Friday Office Field Trip to Madison Square Garden was doubly special for me because I am interning in their Corporate Hospitality department (and because I didn’t have to fight the crowds at Penn Station to get to our evening program for once – still getting used to my loss of personal space in NYC). I can already tell The Garden is a special place to work. On top of being the ultimate space to learn hospitality and service, all of the full-time employees are so welcoming and seem to truly care about the student associates. I have not passed a new face in the office that has not stopped to extend a handshake and learn my name. Many have also offered their time to teach me what they do, even if their job is completely unrelated to mine. Everyone from my direct supervisor to her boss’s boss’s boss has an interest in creating sport industry professionals who will be successful in whatever they do.

This desire to see the student associates become well-rounded members of the sport industry is closely reflected by the programming of MSBA. I was hesitant at first when I learned the focus of our MSG panel would be sales, especially because I think the reason I prefer service is because I’m definitely not aggressive enough for sales. However, MSBA speakers continue to surprise me with the small lessons they teach that can be applied to my preferred path. Even though the sales professionals from the panel stated that they were “stewards of the brand” who “sell memories,” it occurred to me that they could not be so sure of the product they were selling if it were not for the service professionals. The sales team may sell the memories, but the service team creates them. Similarly, the sponsorships team designs partnerships, but the service team keeps it strong. My chosen area of corporate hospitality and premium services is rather niche, but it will require me to work closely with individuals from almost every other aspect of the company (and I can already prove it – in my first week, we met with more departments than I can name, some of which I didn’t even know existed!). If the MSBA programming can continue to deliver even small takeaways each day like the one from Friday, I know this will be the most valuable summer of my life.