Internship Gives Averett Student Experience, Application from Classes

Posted on October 29th, 2021 by Matt Bell

Averett University senior Chase Nixon ’21 is thrilled to apply what he has learned in the classroom to an internship in his hometown that he started this summer.

Nixon, majoring in sports administration with a minor in business, had already completed another internship in 2020, and this one with the Gastonia Honey Hunters makes for his second. Nixon was home in Gastonia when he learned from the city’s mayor about the internship.

“He made the connection and from there, the rest is history,” Nixon said.

In their inaugural season after a realignment of dozens of Minor League Baseball teams in 2020, the Honey Hunters are part of the Atlantic League. Their 2021 season ran from April through October followed by the playoffs.

Nixon said from day one, he’s been able to take what he learned in the classroom in his major and apply it to what he’s doing for the Honey Hunters.

“The professors and classes here at Averett helped me learn about operations and front office skills. What I learned in my classes was actually occurring there at the Honey Hunters, and I was able to jump in and know what to do right away,” Nixon said.

Nixon said his professors have instilled in him professionalism, business skills and relationship building.

“Always have a smile on your face and be willing to step up when it’s time. Shaking hands and kissing babies. Get your foot in the door and that’s how you build connections,” Nixon elaborated on regarding what skills he has gained from his classes.

Nixon said he was thankful for the interview advice and preparation he received from Department Chair and Associate Professor of Health and Sport Science Dr. Melanie Lewis, and Associate Professor of Health and Sport Sciences Barbara Kushubar.

“Dr. Lewis, who is my advisor, has been a great help to me. I told her about the internship right before my interview. Kushubar helped guide me with how to go about the interview,” Nixon said. “One of the things I was able to offer the Honey Hunters was being local, and I was able to reach out to different community organizations to connect with them. I found connections to high schools and soon, they’re going to have high school football games at the stadium.”

Over the course of his internship, Nixon has helped with a variety of tasks including public relations and managing media, specifically with community engagement, outreach and social media management.

When he wasn’t doing front office work over the summer, Nixon assisted with assembling the game day.

“I learned about game day operations, control room, ticket sales, promotions, merchandise sales; you name it, I helped,” he said.

Now that he’s back on Averett’s campus, Nixon is helping the Honey Hunters on a virtual basis. He is working on a mascot project for the team including a launch and appearances.

Upon graduating in December, Nixon is looking to pursue a master’s degree in business administration.

“I will have sports administration under my belt already, so I want to get more of the business side under my belt. I’m taking things a step at a time and seeing where the road leads,” Nixon said.