FEATURE - Internship Shows Wolfer the Other Side of the Game
Sept. 19, 2007
By: Keith Hejna, Penn State Athletic Communications Student-Assistant
Last year, at Penn State softball games, Meghan Wolfer's only responsibility was to play. Everything else was handled by others. The grounds crew took care of the field, the marketing department promoted the games, and the athletic communications department kept the statistics.
This year, as a marketing intern for the State College Spikes - the Pittsburgh Pirates' Class A minor league team - Wolfer has gotten the chance to carry out the other responsibilities that come along with a baseball team beyond playing.
"I really enjoy it," she said about her internship. "It gives me a chance to see things from the other side."
Wolfer started in right field for the Nittany Lions for four years and soon found a home in the number two spot in the lineup.
"[Meghan] is a great table setter at the plate," Coach Robin Petrini said last season. "She continues to get herself on base and provide opportunities for our power hitters to get quality RBI's."
Having led a career characterized by bunts, sacrifice flies, and solid defense, Wolfer is familiar with being underappreciated for the work she does.
"It's something that just has to be done for the team to succeed," she said of her role on the Penn State softball team. "You just have to suck it up and do it."
As an intern for the Spikes, Wolfer has taken on many of the thankless duties that parallel those in her playing days. She contributes in every sector, from pulling the tarp in the morning, to helping at the box office, delivering schedules, and handing out flyers.
One of Wolfer's responsibilities is organizing in-game promotions like the McDonalds' Build-A-Burger contests where two teams of fans dress up as buns and create life-sized hamburgers on the field between innings.
On game days her job becomes more hectic and her hours much longer. "On non-game days I usually work from nine to five, but on game days, I come in at seven and sometimes don't leave until eleven or later," she said.
Wolfer graduated with a degree in recreation, parks, and tourism management this August. This internship has taken her in another direction.
"It's a lot of hands on learning that you have to experience and you can't really prepare for," she said.
A marketing job was certainly a transition for Wolfer, having only taken one arbitrary marketing class that fit into her major, but she welcomed the challenge.
It was not the first time that Wolfer had to adapt to fit her surroundings. The move from high school to Division I-A softball was difficult, but she made the jump without a problem, earning second team All-Big Ten honors after her freshman season.
She continued her impressive play through her sophomore season until a foul tip against Pittsburgh resulted in a broken kneecap. She rehabbed all summer with athletic trainers at Penn State and excelled in her junior and senior seasons.
Her collegiate career has concluded, but she has not given up hope of playing again. Though she will be applying to graduate schools soon, Wolfer has considered playing professionally in New Zealand.
Wolfer's job is not as glamorous as playing, but it at least allows her to be around a sport that she loves.
"I'm kind of jealous of the guys that are actually playing," she said. "It makes me want to play again and I hope that my career is not over, but it might be. I'm just glad that I can help out."
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