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New Internship Program Gives Mike Ilitch School of Business Students Rare Experience at the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment

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Two graduate students at the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University have joined the ranks of the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings as part of a new paid internship program in The District Detroit.

In August, Aquinas College alumna Brooke Senkbeil began working at Olympia Entertainment/Detroit Red Wings, while University of Michigan graduate Lauren McCree started work at the Detroit Tigers.

“Right off the bat, I was getting hands-on experience with people who want me to succeed,” said McCree, who recently returned to Michigan after working in football administration at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Senkbeil, who previously worked as a scorekeeper and concessions manager for the practice facility of Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, added that working in The District Detroit has been enjoyable.

“Having my work and my classes 100 feet away is pretty awesome,” Senkbeil said. “You see all the people and the fans coming in. It’ll be super exciting when the Pistons and the Red Wings get going.”

Eligible applicants for the competitive internship were required to be enrolled in the Sport and Entertainment Management program at WSU and have at least a year of work experience in the sports and entertainment industry. They were also required to commit to working a minimum of 20 hours per week.

The Sport and Entertainment Management concentration, led by Professor Scott Tainsky launched last fall, offering courses in leadership, marketing, sales, finance, economics and other areas.

The Detroit Tigers organization, which has nearly 200 full-time employees in Michigan and about 1,000 part-time or seasonal workers, already hosts about two dozen paid interns annually. The senior college students and recent graduates, which hail from all over the country, select a department to work in for the duration of their 6 or 9-month internship. By contrast, the Sport and Entertainment Management students from WSU will commit to two years of interning among various departments for a deeply immersive experience. Some of those department areas include ticket sales, venue operations, business analytics, communications and marketing and community affairs.

Tainsky expects interns to work on high-profile projects, such as the Tigers Winter Caravan and the Red Wings Fantasy Camp, along with learning about strategizing promotional giveaways, managing VIP parties and other critical duties.

At the new business school—made possible by a historic $40 million gift from Mike and Marian Ilitch—students will enjoy closer proximity to the densest sports city in the country, offering invaluable access to the four major sports teams that play at Comerica Park, Ford Field and Little Caesars Arena. The four-story academic building opened to more than 3,500 students in August.  

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is a dynamic urban destination in the heart of Detroit. One that includes something for everyone—a dense neighborhood experience with a variety of developments alongside Detroit’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Connecting downtown Detroit to growing nearby neighborhoods such as Midtown, Corktown and Brush Park, The District Detroit is having a dramatic economic impact on Detroit and is a driving catalyst of the city’s remarkable resurgence. The District Detroit represents $1.4 billion in new investment to Detroit including the new Little Caesars Arena, Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. Additionally, new office, residential and retail spaces will continue to add momentum to Detroit’s amazing comeback for years to come.