Name: Casey Baker
Internship: Marketing Intern at Barstool Sports
How did you get this internship?
One day, during the spring when the New England Patriots were going through Deflategate, the owner of Barstool, Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) tweeted that they were looking for a t-shirt design for Deflategate. They wanted to play off the TV show Game of Thrones and to say “Defend the Wall”. Since I have a lot of graphic design skills, I quickly created two designs. The next day, I was about to email it to Barstool when I saw Dave tweeted once again. This time he was talking about how they are looking for interns of the summer. I quickly decided to not only email them my t-shirt designs, but also my resume and cover letter with a message about how I would love to apply for an internship with Barstool. I received an email back stating how they loved my designs and they would like to have me come in for an interview. In the days before my interview, Barstool was documenting their internship process like it was the auditions of American Idol. They videotaped all their interviews. While most companies might videotape interviews to look back at someone’s performance, Barstool did this to create a performance. They wanted to make sure if something funny or weird happened, they had it on camera and could post it on the website. Sorry to disappoint, but I did not do anything that was “blog worthy”. However, later that week, I got an email that they wanted me to board the pirate ship and intern for them this summer.
What were your daily responsibilities at your internship?
My responsibilities mostly had to do with using social media and graphic design. My task was to manage Barstool’s social media accounts. This included their main account (@barstoolsports) which has over 200,000 followers. Before I started working at Barstool, the only thing that was tweeted on their main account was links to their articles. When Dave brought me in, he said he wanted the account to have a voice and tweet more content. I did this by watching sport games and making sure if anything major or funny happened, I would record it and post it on the twitter account.
In the last month of my internship with Barstool Sports, Adweek.com said that Barstool Sports saw the highest growth of any social media publisher in August at 125 percent. Since my job was to grow their social media accounts, I take a lot of pride in that.
I also helped Barstool with anything they needed graphically using Photoshop and more. When the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup championship this summer, I was asked to create a couple t-shirt designs. I created a couple and they ended up using one of my designs.
I was asked to create an RV wrap design to present to Draft Kings, who is sponsoring the Barstool Dixie tour. The design was shown to Draft Kings as a way to demonstrate to them how they will be represented on the tour.
During my time at Barstool, I also wrote a couple blogs. Because I was an intern, I could not just post whatever I wanted. I would write an article and post it as a draft. It would then be reviewed and if it was deemed worthy, it would be posted. These included “Gronk Does a Promo for the Gronk Family Party Ship and it’s Fire,” “Jamie Collins Reminds us why we’re not Pro Football Players,” “Deion Sanders Dressed in Drag in Lip Sync Battle VS Justin Bieber,” and “ESPN Makes Deflategate Joke in Ad.”
What was your favorite memory/experience at your internship?
My favorite memory would probably be my first day. Heading into my first day at the Barstool Sports Boston office, I was really nervous. During my interview with Dave, I was not really aware of exactly what my role was going to be working for them. During the interview, it was more of me selling myself to them. They asked me what my skills were and how I could help them this summer. So coming into the office on day 1, I was anxious to figure out exactly what my role was. When I walked into the office, I was greeted by three other interns, Mike, Adam, and Dana. I also noticed that down the hall was Dave and Paul, who was my manager. They were talking to another intern, Tyler. Mike, Adam and Dana were all sitting down at a desk and there were no available chairs left. So, I stood there waiting for someone to tell me what to do. Someone finally did, Dave. He came up to me and said, “Oh hey, you do not have a chair? Hank, take Casey and go to the store and pick up some chairs.”. I left with Hank, who was a former intern, who now works full-time. I went with him to Staples.
We got there and Hank handed me the company credit card and said, “Hey, I have to go run into Best Buy real quick. Grab some chairs and I’ll meet you outside with the chairs.”. I got nervous because I had no idea what chairs to buy. There was a large variety of office chairs to pick from and I didn’t want to mess up my first task. Luckily, there was a sale going on for a pretty nice chair and they had the exact number we needed. So, I bought them and we took them back to the office.
We brought them back to the office and it was our jobs, the interns, to build these chairs. When we finally figured how to put them together, we all sat at our new desks. I still have yet to be told exactly what my job was. I looked over at Mike, who sat right next to me, and asked him what he was working on. He said, “Oh nothing, I’m just on Twitter, I have no idea what to do.”. I looked around and the other interns seemed to be in the same boat.
I decided to walk into Paul’s office and ask him what I should be working on. He told me that Dave said he had something for me to work on and to go up to his office in five minutes. I waited five minutes and when I walked up the steps to Dave’s office, he gave me a confused look. “You’re up here?” He says to me. I respond, “Hey yeah, I was just wondering what you wanted me to do today.” He then went on to tell me that he thought he made it clear in the interview (which he didn’t) that he hired us to come up with our own tasks, and that he was not going to babysit us all summer and tell us what to do every day. I was told that I needed to find my own way to contribute to the company just like everyone else. I was so embarrassed and said, “Oh sorry, Paul told me you had something for me to do today and to come up here to see you”. He then called for Paul and asked him if he sent me upstairs. When he found out that in fact he did, he told him that he made it perfectly clear that he did not want the interns in his office.
As I was about to walk downstairs, Dave told me he had an idea for me to work on. The NBA Playoffs were going on and Lebron James had recently said a bunch of quotes about how hurt he was, but he was still playing through the pain. Dave told me to collect a bunch of the recent quotes, as well as old quotes, to be used in a blog. I told Mike and we started researching. We found a bunch of quotes, but then I came up with an idea. Instead of putting these quotes in text form, why don’t I make a highlight video of Lebron acting hurt and being a big baby. I pitched the idea to Dave and he loved it. My first day at Barstool quickly turned from being a bad one to a great one.
What was the biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was to understand my role as an intern and to do it to the best of my abilities. Finding a role was challenging at first, but once I found mine, I felt like I made a contribution to the company.
How will this further your career?
When looking into the future, I believe that everything I learned during my time at Barstool can be used and can help me in my professional career. Working this summer, in a position that I know I want to work in in the future, makes me believe that this experience was a great first step. In my internship, I was able to use my skills and display them on a huge platform. The experience I received at Barstool will show future employers that I have the experience and I can handle running social media accounts for large companies. Also, this experience will show companies that I am an asset. I have the creativity to come up with the idea and I also have the technical skills to design the idea. I feel like all the graphic work and video editing I did over the summer for Barstool is a must have skill today. Graphic art work is so important. I am happy that over the summer I have been able to not only improve my skills, but to also understand how to apply them in a business setting.
What is your best advice for underclassmen?
My advice to underclassmen is to find out what you love to do and do it. Figure out what you enjoy doing and figure out how you can use your passion to make yourself successful. I loved my internship because I was doing what I love to do and I worked for a company that I loved working for. Don’t just follow what everyone else is doing , you should figure out what makes you happy. This is your life, your career, make sure you’re going to enjoy it!