03/15/2019 6:26 AM
Developing players to move onto the next level of their baseball careers and winning games are major goals for summer collegiate teams like the North Shore Navigators each year. But they’re most certainly not the only goals.
The Navigators simply would not operate with an annual staff of approximately 20 game day operations and press box interns who ― just like the Futures Collegiate Baseball League’s players ― use summer experiences at Fraser Field to help further their careers in various avenues of the sports industry.
“Working with the Navs really gave me my first true taste of what it’s like to work in sports,” said Sam Barlow, who is now an Account Executive of New Business Development for the New York Mets. He spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 with the Navs while attending UMass. “It taught me to work hard, what the ins and outs of an organization are, and to soak up as much as you can during your internship.”
Former Navs interns have worked their way into positions with such professional organizations as the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, while current interim general managers Joe Gill and Ashley Laramie began their time with the team as interns and are now two of the league’s longest-tenured employees.
Barlow spent 2013 as the manager of ballpark operations after running the team’s merchandise store during his first summer in Lynn. Though his roles were defined, Barlow and other Navs alumni agree that their internships offered them a well-rounded look at the organization and learning about different positions is critical.
One of those alumni is Taylor Fisher, a member of Barlow’s staff in 2013. His experience led to becoming the general manager of the FCBL’s former Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide the following summer and his first professional position with the Frederick Keys thereafter.
Fisher’s baseball journey began at Fraser Field and has led to his current position in business development with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. He recently completed his second season with the Sounds, who are the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate.
“The great thing about working for Bill Terlecky and Ashley Laramie was that you got to do everything. I sold tickets, helped on the field, on-field promotions, even the occasional (on-field) MC’ing,” Fisher said. “I got to find out what I liked and didn’t like, what I was good at … and learned that it’s important to do whatever it takes to help out.”
Under Gill’s leadership, the team’s media department has seen the same success in developing interns to work for regional and national organizations like 98.5 The Sports Hub, Sporting News, and DraftKings to name a few.
Press box interns are largely responsible for putting on the show at Fraser Field each night, delivering public address announcements and controlling in-stadium music while, among other duties, providing information to fans online via social media, broadcasting, and official scoring. A Quinnipiac University graduate, Shanna McCarriston believes that the Navs helped all of their interns accomplish their varying goals.
“What I remember most (about working for the Navs in 2016) is that everyone was very supportive in helping the interns accomplish what they wanted to gain experience in,” said McCarriston. “It was a fun place to work and … a fantastic way to get my feet wet in many different areas of sports journalism and PR.
“I have been able to use that experience to propel me in my career,” which recently brought her to the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C., where fellow Navs intern alum Jacob Camenker also works. McCarriston is a member of the social media and marketing team, while Camenker is a fantasy football writer.
For Chris Podymaitis, his two summers with the Navs were helpful preparation for his current job as a Customer Experience Associate at DraftKings. He was not only able to advance into the role of Co-Director of Media Relations for the 2014 season but gained a group of friends that still exists today and includes several members still working in the sports industry.
“I learned the inner workings of a small baseball team and what goes on to prepare for the game, run the game and wrap up the game,” Podymaitis said of his experience with the Navs. “I remember the small group of interns that I worked with in 2013. The press box felt like a family that summer.”
The other co-director that summer, Maggiore agreed with Podymaitis and saw the opportunity to learn and grow from his collective experiences with the team.
“The sports industry is challenging, but it can also be real fun,” said Maggiore, who is now a Street Team leader for 98.5 The Sports Hub. “Work needs to get done and it needs to get done right and having a fun environment allows for that to happen. The press box was kept loose throughout my seasons (with the Navs) and I feel that was the key to success. If we made a mistake it wasn’t taken as a terrible thing, but we corrected it and made sure it never happened again.”
“Once a Navigator, always a Navigator” is a slogan that has long been used within the organization, applying to players and staff alike. Camenker agrees, and believes his time with the team was invaluable to helping his career in a variety of ways.
“If you can show that you're a really hard worker that knows what it takes to get tasks done and make things run smoothly, that can go a long way,” Camenker advised prospective interns. “You can learn a lot from the staff and they can do a lot to help you continue to work in sports. And befriend your fellow interns as well! You're all in the same boat, and it makes the games a lot of fun when you have a close-knit bunch doing the work.”