The Once in a Lifetime Internship


Aubrey Anderson, Opinion Editor

This year I have had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was fortunate enough to be selected as a Minnesota Vikings Game Day Intern. I have been a Vikings fan for as long as I can remember. It was always a family tradition to come home from church and turn on the TV and watch the Vikings play. I would wait for when they would score a touchdown and I would proudly sing “Skol Vikings” with my parents.  

I never dreamed of working with the NFL or the Minnesota Vikings, but when I came to Buena Vista and changed my major from biology, the internship presented itself. I had a friend who had interned with the Vikings previously and so through talking with her and a couple faculty members, I decided that the Game Day Internship was something I really wanted to pursue. When I got the news that I was selected, I couldn’t believe it. A dream that I didn’t know I had came true! 

Through this internship, I learned what it is like to work with public relations, a national organization, and I was also able to experience my first (of multiple) NFL games. As a communication studies major, it was amazing to see how much my classes had prepared me for this experience. I grew in my verbal, as well as written communication skills, but most importantly, I became more confident in my abilities and myself. Working for the Vikings was always a blast and also very helpful for my career development.  

As the regular season drew to an end, all of the interns couldn’t stop talking about the Super Bowl. We were hoping for the opportunity to work. Who wouldn’t want that? We knew the stadium, we knew what was expected, and we were more than willing to put in the hours, as we had displayed throughout the course of the internship. We all turned in our applications, then one day, we got the news. We were going to Super Bowl LII!! When I got the news, my legs went numb. I would be working the Super Bowl! I couldn’t believe it!  

When we all got there on the big day, I could feel the anticipation and anxiety throughout the press box and among my fellow interns. However, once we met with our supervisor, we could all tell it was going to be business as usual (just with way more people and media coverage). I was surprised by how easy it was for me to separate myself from the fact that it was the Super Bowl. I found myself viewing it as just another game day, with the only differences being different teams, more press to interact with, and more security.  

The only thing that truly surprised me was the feeling I had about the overall Super Bowl experience. There was so much glamor, with all the celebrities and media coverage for almost everything, it seemed like an A list event. Then I realized, that is exactly what it was. According to Forbes, the average ticket for Super Bowl LII was slightly over $2,800. And that’s not even discussing how much money it costs celebrities for their private suites and the cost of front row tickets. The average middle class American doesn’t have that kind of money to throw down in order to see a football game. Also, on my way to the stadium, we passed the airport and the lanes were littered with private jets for all of these celebrities in order for them to make an appearance at the “game of the year.” In other words, I got the feeling the Super Bowl was another A list event with football sprinkled in in order to please the middle class Americans who are watching it at home.  

But please do not get me wrong. I loved my entire experience at the Super Bowl. But through my experience being there, it isn’t nearly as special as TV makes it out to be. Yes, the halftime show is fun to watch, but that is designed for TV viewing so that also slightly loses its “cool factor.” In other words, working during Super Bowl LII has opened my eyes. I have now been able to remove the veil of glamor that hangs over the NFL and the Super Bowl, and I see the big game as business as usual.  

However, working for the Vikings was a different ball game. While I was able to remain professional during the games, it was harder for me to separate work from the excitement of the game because I am emotionally invested in the Vikings franchise. As I said before, the Vikings have been my team of choice, through thick and thin, for as long as I can remember. That kind of investment cannot be easily separated. However, it can be hidden behind a professional front. I loved every minute of the Game Day internship and look forward to reapplying for next season. Being a part of the PR team was an unexpected opportunity that has now presented me with a new outlook on a future career, and multiple perspectives on the NFL and its many layers.