Lerner Student Alexa Bachonski Enjoys “Super” Internship Experience

While Super Bowl LVII was memorable for football fans around the world, for one University of Delaware student it served as a springboard to a future career in hospitality.

Alexa Bachonski, a junior entrepreneurship major with an advertising minor in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, worked her second consecutive Super Bowl this February by serving a two-week internship with On Location, an experiential hospitality business specializing in the world of sports and entertainment. The company hosts events at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, Olympics, Final Four and major golf tournaments, in addition to music festivals across the country.

Bachonski knew about the company through a family connection, and after using her networking skills within the organization, secured an internship as a student production assistant.

Her first event was last year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles, and she returned to the area over the summer to work at a Major League Baseball All-Star oceanfront event in Santa Monica, as the sport’s Midsummer Classic was held at nearby Dodger Stadium last July.

This year’s Super Bowl featuring the hometown Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs was her third event with the company.

Bachonski, who works as a waitress during the summer, enjoyed seeing various aspects of the hospitality field during her three events.

“It was interesting to see different ends of event planning because I’ve always worked in the service industry in restaurants, so I’ve already really enjoyed hospitality,” she noted. “So it was very beneficial for me to solidify for myself that I really do like it.”

She felt like the internships were extremely valuable and enabled her to meet plenty of people in the industry.

“I learned a lot about the different forms of business and specifically connecting with different people to see everyone’s job,” she said. “I would question people every day at lunch just to learn more about what they did. Just to see if I’d want to do that, or if that’s interesting to me.”

“It was really cool that I had two different Super Bowl experiences,” she explained. “Last year I worked the highest-level premium parties with about 2,000 guests. This year I had a different experience because the party I worked with was a lot more family-oriented. We had 5,250 guests, which was the biggest event that I’ve worked so far.

“I helped with a lot of different things, because I was there eight days before the actual event. So it was a lot of setting up, working on production, working with marketing and advertising for the events,” she said.

Bachonski was specifically assigned to the Champion’s Club, which was one of three pregame events run by the company. She worked under a lead, a coordinator, one of the digital designers and a few other people, getting firsthand experience and helping with whatever they needed to be done. She expressed her appreciation for everyone on her team during the internship.

“I saw a lot of different sides of event planning, which was nice. I was able to work and connect with food and beverage vendors, talk to them about their experiences, and see if they needed help with anything. We took inventory, and helped place actual furniture,” Bachonski stated.

“Every day we would do walk-throughs, and I would take all the notes for the lead. Just making sure what we had to complete by the next day. So essentially just making sure that everything was in place, and deliveries got tracked on time.”

Additionally, Bachonski assisted with marketing and advertising for the event.

“The company had a rule that every corner you turn, you should see a company logo. So I would walk around turning in circles, making sure that everything was in place in that sense,” she explained.

During the pregame event, which opened at noon and closed at 3:45 to lead into the game, one of the parties featured singer Sheryl Crow, allowing guests to enjoy food and drinks while listening to the performer.

“During the event I was delegated to a specific zone of the party. It was separated into six zones, and in my specific one, I was just making sure that all my employees and teammates who had come that day to help were in check,” Bachonski said. “I worked with the vendors to make sure they had everything they needed. I walked around and answered guest inquiries about where things were at the party. Some people had questions about how to get to the stadium. It was interesting to see a lot of different sides this time, as opposed to last year when it was more so just production.”

Bachonski said that majoring in entrepreneurship at UD was very beneficial during her internship.

“I’ve learned a lot about thinking quickly on your feet. I was able to do that and really be able to problem solve in creative ways when something went wrong. For example, some of the chairs brought in had some scratches on them. How can I get them out immediately? If I can’t get them out, what do I do? I feel like that specifically was very helpful,” Bachonski explained.

“Entrepreneurial marketing with (professor) John Himics was a class I adored and found so beneficial,” she continued. “Because while I still learned the entrepreneurial end of a business, I also really got to dig into the advertising part. And I feel like I got a lot of real-life examples through the course and was able to use them while I was there, which was cool. Just making sure that all the ad signage was good, and the digital displays were good. And if they weren’t, then be able to delegate that task to someone. So that was a great course.”

Although she did not have stadium access during the game, Bachonski was able to watch the action from one of the company’s gigantic televisions at the party and even saw fireworks shoot out of the stadium during Rihanna’s halftime performance. Following the game, she was able to go on the field, grabbing some confetti and taking photos.

After working three events in the sports field, Bachonski would like to explore the food and beverage and music sides as well.

During her stay in Phoenix, Bachonski connected with food and beverage vendors, and was invited to work one of their events in New York in October. “So after I try that, I’ll have more of a sense of whether I’d want to be on this side or specifically want to do music. For now it would be a good job since I’m still young and would get to experience traveling to a lot of places,” she said.

Bachonski, who hopes to start her own business someday, is getting a head start on her career with plenty of hands-on experience during her internships.

“I worked 10-12 hour days during my stay, so it was definitely a time commitment,” she said. “But it was definitely worth it.”

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