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St. Louis Native Interns with Detroit Lions
Daylight savings time, cooler weather and the changing of leaves are all obvious signs the fall season is upon us. For sports fans, the only sign of fall that matters is the beginning of football season. This football season, Tony Lessel, a native of St. Louis, Mo., will be completing his internship with the Detroit Lions of the NFL.
Lessel, who is majoring in sport management and minoring in business administration, is working as a premium sales intern with the Lions until his graduation in December. On a normal day, he coordinates suite tickets and passes for the suite holders for Sunday games, creates spread sheets for team finances and makes phone calls to various companies for game-day preparation.
“It’s basically a mixed bag of things to do, making each day interesting,” said Lessel.
He said his latest project involved creating a suite/club members networking directory, which allows club and suite holders to connect with each other more efficiently. On game days, Lessel said he arrives at the office four hours prior to kickoff to prepare the suites, set up signs and ensure that nothing goes wrong.
“Before the game, everything is as hectic as can be. But once kickoff happens, things slow down a bit and I work in the North Club Lounge and Suite area, answering questions from guests,” said Lessel. “One thing I’ve learned here is that if the fans aren’t happy, no one is happy!”
Lessel said his favorite part of the job is interacting with his coworkers, who all work hard while having fun. He said his most memorable experience has been visiting Allen Park, which is the Lions’ practice facility.
“It’s cool to see the team without their safety pads on, interacting with each other and ourselves,” said Lessel.
Lessel said his educational experience at Southeast is one he will never forget.
“I must admit, I was a big fan of online classes and completed most of my business courses that way,” said Lessel. “The variety of online courses offered by Southeast is a great benefit of the school.”
Lessel said in the sport management major, a practicum is required.
“I did my practicum with the Cape Girardeau Country Club, and that was a great experience in dealing with people who would belong to a country club,” said Lessel. He said his internship with the Detroit Lions also is part of the curriculum for the sport management major.
Lessel’s favorite thing to do in Cape Girardeau is going downtown with his friends.
“I always hear people say how boring Cape is and how there is nothing to do, but I feel that’s definitely not the case,” said Lessel. He said Nick’s Family Sports Pub was usually where he and his friends would go, unless the Mike Renick Band was playing.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that those times listening to Mike and hanging out with friends are things I’ll never forget,” said Lessel.
Lessel said he enjoys playing poker with his friends and participating in soccer intramurals. Lessel believes in studying hard and doing good work, but he said it’s important to have fun.
“College flies by and it’s a lot shorter than you think. Go out and meet new people. Don’t go home every weekend or you’ll miss out on the entire experience.”