Skip to main content
Student Success

Greensboro Grasshoppers Intern Mason Cook Develops Sport Management Skills

NC State student Mason Cook inputs data on a computer - Greensboro Grasshoppers Intern Mason Cook Develops Sport Management Skills - College of Natural Resources News NC State University
Photo provided

This article is part of the Not Your Average Summer series highlighting the internship experiences of both undergraduate and graduate students from the NC State College of Natural Resources.

Mason Cook is a senior studying sport management in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. This summer, Cook interned with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in North Carolina.

Founded in 1979, the Greensboro Grasshoppers are a minor league baseball team. The team is the High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and competes in the South Atlantic League.

Check out the Q&A below to learn more about Cook’s experience with the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the role of the College of Natural Resources in preparing him for the internship.

What kinds of things are you doing during your internship?

My official internship title this summer with the Greensboro Grasshoppers was Front Office and Merchandise Intern. My main focus centered around the operations of the team store. Some of my tasks included inputting new merchandise into Shopify (our inventory system), fulfilling online orders, managing our game-day cashiers and money bags, and stocking the store. However, my role ended up being a lot more than just focusing on the store. I was also answering phones, selling tickets (both individual and group sales), assisting in promotions, working concession stands, cleaning fireworks, and even dressing up in a hot dog costume dancing on top of the Grasshoppers dugout. This internship was an incredible experience and I would highly recommend any sport management student pursuing internship opportunities to keep the Grasshoppers at the top of their list. 

How did you find out about this internship and why were you interested in it?

Being born and raised in Greensboro, I grew up going to Grasshoppers games and always had fun. They’re a very well-run organization, and I thought it would be awesome if I could land an internship with them. I reached out to my aunt, who had connections with the Grasshoppers, and she put me in touch with the Vice President of Baseball Operations Katie Dannemiller. I then officially applied for a position through Teamwork Online and landed an interview. I interviewed over Zoom and a few weeks later, I was offered a position.

In what ways did the College of Natural Resources prepare you for this internship?

The College of Natural Resources prepared me for this internship through its curriculum. My professors really instilled in me that the internship is one of, if not, the most important thing you will do at NC State. The college does a wonderful job of teaching the values and skills that you need to be successful for an internship. These include time management, setting up a professional portfolio, and networking. These are all things that my professors focus on and they are certainly invaluable skill sets to have throughout your career.

What are your long-term goals and how does this internship factor in?

My long-term goals include getting a master’s degree and finding a great job within the sports industry. Some internships make you realize that the industry you had wanted to be in may not be it after all, but that certainly was not the case here. The ultimate long-term goals are to either become the general manager of an MLB franchise or an athletic director at a Division I school. We’ll see if either of those come true, but anything is possible. This internship certainly factors in with my long-term goals. It was an internship with a baseball team, which is certainly an industry I may want to continue to work in. Not to mention, this was a minor league baseball internship, which are known for their incredibly long hours and hardworking staff. Having this internship on my resume could go a long way in helping me stand out to future employers.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned while at NC State?

The most important thing I’ve learned while at NC State is manage your time wisely. College is the time where you first experience a taste of true independence, and you have to manage your responsibilities accordingly. You have to have that balance of academics and fun to make your college experience a successful one. If you don’t have the proper time management, then things may not go quite as smoothly for you. At my internship, I also realized the importance of time management. I would start on one task and then get pulled away doing something else and would get sidetracked. Because of that, there were some things that I told myself I was going to get done in a day but then wasn’t able to. Realizing the importance of time management at college has been incredibly important and will certainly go a long way in helping me become successful in my future endeavors in the sport industry.