Baseball fans anxiously file into Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium to cheer on the Kane County Cougars to another victory. Fans line up at the concession stands amidst the smell of freshly cooked hot dogs and nachos. Cheers come from the stadium as the Cougars take the field for their warm up. For Southeast alumnus Brent Lewis, these are the sights and sounds of a typical work day.
When Brent graduated from Southeast in May 2005 with a bachelor of science degree in sport management and a minor in business administration, he knew that working with a professional baseball team was what he wanted to do.
“I knew from day one that I wanted to work in baseball, I love being around the game.”
This Jackson, Mo., native is the ticket operations assistant for the Kane County Cougars, a Minor League baseball team and a Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics based in Oakland, Calif.
Brent is responsible for processing ticket orders for both individual and group sales. He handles all ticket orders on the phone, online or face-to-face at the ticket window. He never knows what will arise on a typical day, and he has found himself working in a variety of areas.
“With a Single-A baseball team there is usually not enough staff to handle all the operations that need to be taken care of, so the staff has a variety of jobs,” he said. “A typical example of this is everyone helping to pull the tarp on the field when it rains.”
Brent says Southeast helped prepare him for problems that have occurred while he was on the job. He also says many of the situations he encounters at work resemble similar situations discussed in many of his classes.
“Southeast was the only college in the state that had a sport management degree program at the time I was choosing schools,” he explained. “I feel that my classes and experiences at Southeast have prepared me very well and have provided me the knowledge to be successful in my career.”
Because of the academic preparation Southeast provided him, Brent says he is capable of handling problems efficiently and effectively at work.
Southeast not only helped Brent grow academically, but it also helped him grow as an individual. He says he especially enjoyed Southeast because of the family atmosphere on campus and the small class sizes. He participated in several campus organizations, such as Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity at Southeast, Presidential Ambassadors and the Sport Management Society.
“My favorite memory at Southeast was having the opportunity to participate in the Redhawk rollout in January 2005,” he said. “I also enjoyed the times I spent playing for the Golden Eagles and the Southeast Show-Band at home football and basketball games, especially when I had the opportunity to travel to Nashville for the 2005 Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament.”
When Brent is not busy selling tickets and helping with the Cougars, he enjoys watching his favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals. If baseball is not on the agenda, then golf is the sport of choice. He also enjoys traveling to Destin, Fla., and relaxing on the sandy beaches while basking in the Florida sun. He says he also wants to take an Alaskan and Caribbean cruise someday.
He urges Southeast students to make the most of their college career by getting to know their professors and becoming involved with campus organizations. He also suggests staying in contact with friends and professors after graduation because they can be very helpful in a future career.