Katie Odon, Intern in the stadium and on the field

September 7, 2010

Katie Odon, '12, public relations

I have been told numerous times to go into things with an open mind and to do my best at everything I do. For the first time in my life, I really had no idea what to expect going into my internship at the Chicago Bears Training Camp. Every day is a whole new experience - new people, new lessons, and new obstacles.

For the first three weeks in August, I have been in Bourbonnais, Illinois as an intern for the advertising and events department for the Chicago Bears. About thirty other interns and I help the camp run as smoothly as possible. We deal with almost everything that happens at the training camp besides the actual practices.

A usual day consists of being at the camp an hour before the gates open to set up, working two shifts during the camp and staying an hour after the gates close to tear down. Working the Kids Zone and Youth Camps, assisting with sponsorship displays and family and guest areas, marketing for upcoming events, assisting the Bears' official mascot, Staley, and running the Kids Only Autograph sessions are many of the jobs that I have performed.

Some of the jobs can be tedious or boring at times, but what jobs aren't? I have learned a lot from this internship like what it takes to put on a huge event, crisis management, and customer relations. I have learned to deal with many different kinds of people and how to approach difficult situations in the most professional way. At the end of the day, no matter how difficult some people may be, I know I have done my job when I see a family get Earl Bennett's autograph and I know that I helped make that happen.
My favorite day so far has been working Family Night at Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears brought one of their practices up to their true hometown. Arriving at Soldier field at eight in the morning, I knew that day would be excruciating. We worked hard all morning setting up the stadium and the events that were part of Family Night. When the event started that afternoon, my job was to help the youth football camps that are on the field before the Bears arrive. I was in the stadium and on the field. It was pretty amazing to think that where I was standing was where Brian Urlacher made a huge sack, Devin Hester had a big catch or Jay Cutler scored a winning touchdown.

With my internship coming to an end, I have learned so much more than I could ever learn in a classroom. I am excited to go back to Bradley and share my experience here, but also sad to see this amazing internship come to an end.