bowls away

written by — domenica jones

If you have ever driven on the 408 expressway towards UCF you can’t miss the huge stadium facility adjacent to the Amway Center. This is the Citrus Bowl. I called it home for the past five months. Some of you have probably seen a few soccer games or had the opportunity to attend the exhilarating Monster Jam at the bowl, but very few of you have had the behind the scenes experience of what really goes on behind huge events such as college bowl games.

I am currently an Interpersonal/Organizational Communication major here at UCF and although I am not in the school of business I am fortunate enough to still be a part of “The Minor That’s Major”. I am your current Sport Business Club Secretary and have been involved in the minor and club for the past two years. There are many opportunities I have been able to take advantage of that have taught me life and career lessons that I can take with me in my future. After interning with the Orlando Predators and finding a passion for Luxury Suite Sales, I was hired by Florida Citrus Sports in the fall of 2013 as their first ever club suite assistant. Florida Citrus Sports is a non-profit organization, working out of the Orlando Citrus Bowl. If you are from Orlando or a fan of college football, you may be familiar with the Florida Classic, the Russell Athletic Bowl or the Capital One Bowl held at the Citrus Bowl ever year.

Each bowl season Florida Citrus Sports and the city of Orlando gear up for another exciting week of luncheons, parades, pep rallies and bowl games with big name schools such as Wisconsin, Georgia, Virginia Tech and South Carolina (just to name a few!).

My job as a club suite assistant at Florida Citrus Sports consisted of maintaining 30 suites on the Citrus Bowl’s club level. I developed relationships with business partners, sponsors, catering, and many suite owners. My day to day activities included scheduling different tasks for the cleaning crew, creating and revising menus from the catering company and contacting SEC, ACC, Big 10 and American conference schools in order to set up leasing contracts for each bowl game. During an event such as the Capital One Bowl, I walk the suite level ensuring everyone is having a 5-star experience and assisting any concerns that may arise.

During this internship I have created lasting connections with not only the staff at Florida Citrus Sports but as well as the members, suite owners, committee members, etc. Without my communication skills and the rewarding knowledge I have learned from the minor, I wouldn’t have been successful in establishing these types of relationships. I have interacted with some of the biggest organizations and companies in Orlando and learned certain things I would not have been able to without hands on experience. Not only did I gain internship experience with Florida Citrus Sports, I also gained a family.

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