News - Teamwork and Experience Help Vanwey Land Coveted Internship With St. Louis Cardinals

Teamwork and Experience Help Vanwey Land Coveted Internship With St. Louis Cardinals

Carla Morris

A glimpse at beautiful Busch Stadium each morning inspires Cards intern Jake Vanwey as he enters the building and makes his way to the cubicle where he fields phone calls from fans nationwide.

It reminds him that this dream internship is a privilege made possible in part by folks back on campus who continue to pull for his success.

Vanwey-CardsJake graduates next December with a major in sport management from Greenville University, located 45 minutes east of St. Louis.

Since January, he has served as an intern in ticket development, the front-office team tasked with filling every seat in Busch Stadium, every game.

Teamwork on Multiple Fronts

“The St. Louis Cardinals have the second best team in ticket sales since 2013,” he explains, an achievement made possible by a large staff dedicated to ticket sales.

Jake’s colleagues with the Cards include Greenville University alumni Brady Bruhn ’02, manager for season tickets; Laney Thacker ’17, direct sales representative and Steph Durocher ’16, account executive for group sales.

His supporters back in Greenville—guides and mentors he credits with uncommon investment in his growth as a person—include Professor Jane Bell and Retired President of Greenville University Robert “Ish” Smith.

Uncommon Support

“I believed I was qualified for the job because my professors like Jane Bell filled me with the confidence that I was qualified for it,” says Jake.

He values what he calls “little actions” that foster a spirit of facing challenges together.

  • Bell pushed Jake to do his best and stay vigilant about pursuing internships. She helped prepare him for his interview with the Cards and prayed over him prior to the big day.
  • Smith—not only a former president of Greenville University, but also former president of the International Baseball Federation—met weekly with Jake and prayed for him throughout the process. “He shared his personal testimony with me and showed me that just because I’m from a small-town college in Greenville doesn’t mean I’m less qualified,” says Jake.

Encouragement for DreamersJake Vanwey-tickets

Jake encourages his fellow students not just to pursue their dreams, but to also cover them in prayer.

Here are six other “best practices” he recommends:

  1. Pursue multiple internships. Two prior internships fueled Jake’s eye-catching resume with skills, knowledge and experience. “I had experience in sales, graphic design, Photoshop, promotions, corporate sales, phone experience, customer service experience and much more.”
  2. Dedicate summers to gaining experience, too. Jake clocked close to 60 hours a week as a marketing and promotions intern with the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team one summer. Yes, it disallowed usual summer fun, but he counts the experience as unquestionably worth it.
  3. Cultivate relationships . . . even enjoy it! “I got to meet a lot of great people [with the Miners], some who even helped me prepare for my opportunities with the Cardinals.”
  4. Turn off that voice in your head that says don’t bother applying. “Always take the time and focus to apply, and let God do what He does best!”
  5. Stay alert for qualities in others that you want to cultivate. “Persistence is something that really sticks out to me from everyone I work with in the front office,” says Jake. “If a problem arises, they always find ways to come to solutions.”
  6. Gratefully accept the opportunities that God gives you. “I want to make the most out of every second God gives me on this earth, and I want to give Him the glory.”

Learn more

Brady Bruhn ’02: Opening Doors to Opening Day
St. Louis Blues Score Big as Job Shadow Hosts
Sport Management Major Overview
Calling: Coach’s Helper



This story was published on April 05, 2018

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