Sport Management Senior Lands Dream Gig with Baltimore Ravens
Sam Wiedorfer’s basement is a sea of purple, black, white, and gold. Signed memorabilia from legendary Baltimore Ravens players like Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata fill every nook and cranny. This season, though, the York College of Pennsylvania senior isn’t spending Sundays in his basement—he’s spending them at M&T Bank Stadium for his dream job: an internship with the Baltimore Ravens.
A love for sport
Sam always knew he wanted a career that kept him connected to sports. “You need to enjoy work, and I don’t think I could enjoy any work if it wasn’t near sports,” he says.
York College’s respected Sport Management program was the perfect fit. It was far enough, but not too far, from home and had small class sizes. Whenever he struggled to understand a concept, his professors were more than willing to help him out one-on-one. “I’ve gotten to actually meet and make relationships with professors, which I think is a pretty big deal,” he says. “It wouldn’t be something that would work at a big school.”
Sam is a sprinter on the Track and Field team. He also plays a number of intramural sports for fun. It’s another thing he likes about York College—the ability to pursue different activities.
Building a network
Since he started college, Sam’s professors have stressed the importance of networking and maintaining relationships. “York is really good at helping you make these contacts,” he says. “You never know where those connections are going to lead.”
He’s a perfect example. It was through a connection with the Ravens he made for a project as a first-year student that helped him land his internship four years later.
And Sam couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fitting internship. Every day, he goes to work at this organization he has loved for years. And Sundays? “Game days are always surreal,” he says. “I live for game days.” He spends the first half of each game working in an office with the game on TV. During the second half, he’s out in the stadium surrounded by a roaring crowd, watching his team live and in person. “It’s a dream come true,” he says.
Learning to listen
A lot of Sam’s job is customer service: helping with issues that arise on game day; answering phone calls and emails; and generally helping people. He’s learned that just listening can go a long way. “It’s important to have patience with people and understand where they’re coming from,” he says. “A lot of these people who are angry just want to be heard. Taking the time to let them vent their frustration can go a long way.”
After he graduates, Sam would love to land a full-time job with the Ravens—maybe in ticket operations or sale—something dealing with people. “When you’re dealing with people, there’s always something new that happens,” he says.
He hasn’t forgotten the lessons his professors taught him—the importance of making connections. He’s making the most of his time now with the Ravens, soaking up all the knowledge he can and making connections with people who are doing what he wants to do.