From interviewing the CEO and Communications Manager of the New England Revolution in his introduction to sports management class, to ultimately working with Nick Kropelin, the soccer operations manager for New England in game day operations, Bryan Hickey’s internship experience for the past three years with the Revolution has been a continuous adventure.
The senior Sports Management major from North Andover, Mass. has experienced a lot of electrifying moments at his internship. Throughout his time with the Revolution, he has gone from kicking a soccer ball around with New England Patriots’ wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to voyaging with the team to Chicago, Colorado, Washington, D.C., New York and Toronto.
One of the most exciting parts for Hickey was sitting on the team bench, being a part of the atmosphere in the locker room and dealing with game operations for the U.S. Olympic team against Spain. He got to work and build relationships with star players like Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.
“I have my own locker in a professional soccer locker room with coaches,” Hickey said. “The man on my left played for the United States Olympic team and the guy to my right is the director of the security for the Olympics,” he added.
Hickey was also able to befriend Steve Nicol, the team’s former coach.
“Knowing and being friendly with Nickol was something special,” Hickey said. “People say he was the best left back in soccer of all time.”
Now, Jay Heaps will take Nicol’s place. During the soccer season, Hickey handed Heaps an airplane ticket and credentials for an away game, and now the former commentator for Comcast SportsNet will be on the sidelines as the manager of the Revolution.
Hickey has always been a sports fan, most importantly a New England Revolution fan, his entire life. When he first met players like Shalrie Joseph, he was star struck. But as he grew comfortable with the coaches and players, he was able to focus on getting down to business.
Hikcey has gained new perspectives from his real world experiences that he has not come across within his sports management classes in the past three and a half years.
“It’s an actual taste of the front office for a professional organization,” Hickey added. “I think the classes here have complemented what I have learned, but it is exactly what I have pictured. Like my boss said, you are not going to be able to look up an exact job you want,” he said.
Hickey encourages many people to just get involved and enjoy whatever it is they do.
“In the Sports Management aspect, definitely volunteering and learning are the biggest things,” Hickey said.
Mark Loiselle may be reached at email@example.com