This summer, Meyrav Levy ’17 and Julia Finch ’17 both acquired internships with the Kraft Sports Group, the holding company of the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Levy focused on the communications side in the media relations department, while Finch crunched numbers in the strategy department.
Initially formed from a partnership between Rice Alumni Relations and the Center for Career Development, the internship opportunities came from a program that connects influential alumni with standout students. Patti Lipoma Kraft ’87 worked with Rice to establish one placement with the Kraft Sports Group, where her father-in-law, Robert Kraft, is the founder, chairman, and CEO.
Each of the women leveraged notable past experiences in their applications. Levy had spent a year in the public relations department of Select Sports Group, LLC., helping represent more than 100 NFL and NCAA football coaches. Through a year-long internship of her own in the Houston Rockets strategy department, Finch had coordinated market research for both the NBA team and the Toyota Center, where they play home games.
The professors in the Department of Sport Management helped Finch and Levy craft their cover letters, tweak their resumes, and prepare for interviews with the Kraft Sports Group. After a grueling application and selection process, the company was so impressed by Levy and Finch that they hired them both for the summer.
Levy worked specifically with the New England Patriots. She monitored media coverage of the team, edited the 2016 media guide, and managed media check-in and the credential process once training camp started. Aside from her official duties, Levy recalled star-studded encounters, including a run-in with Tom Brady on his birthday, making friends with Matthew Slater, and giving language lessons to Danny Amendola. She also shared a laugh with tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“When I met Gronk, I introduced myself as ‘Mey,’ which sounds like ‘May,’” Levy explained. “He said, ‘Nice to meet you,’ then thought about it for a while before saying, ‘Uh, I’m June!’”
As a customer marketing and strategy intern with the Kraft Sports Group, Finch analyzed survey data to find patterns and then presented recommendations to company executives. In fact, one of her most memorable afternoons involved meeting with one of those executives: Jonathan Kraft, the president of the company.
“The craziest moment for me was when I was working during training camp and got a call from Jonathan Kraft’s assistant asking if I could meet with him,” Finch said. “It was hot, I was sweating, and I was wearing a t-shirt, ball cap, and shorts when I got the call.”
Asked to be in an office on the other side of Gillette Stadium within 10 minutes, Finch started sprinting around the stadium hoping not to be late.
“I felt pretty ridiculous showing up to Jonathan Kraft’s office in a t-shirt and shorts, but I did it and had a lovely meeting with him,” Finch said.
The Department of Sport Management helps Rice students just like Finch and Levy land internships that will prepare them for a future career in sports. Sport Management is an undergraduate major at Rice University that covers basic business administration concepts and explains their relevancy in the sports industry. For more information, visit sport.rice.edu.
Molly Mohr is an alumna of Rice University who double majored in sport management and English and minored in business.