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How an MBA student scored an internship with the New England Patriots
Jeff Phillips
Jeff Phillips
Photo: Sarah Foote

Jeff Phillips’ goal was to spend his summer internship working for a professional sports team. Through his work on the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last spring, Phillips, MBA ’12, was successful.

While working on the conference, Phillips met Jessica Gelman, vice president of customer marketing and strategy for the New England Patriots and co-chair of the event. After several conversations with her throughout the year, Phillips landed an internship on her team at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

He spent the summer analyzing and developing a ticket sales strategy and working on multiple other projects for the Patriots. “It was a great challenge operationally, and I feel I had a chance to establish new skills and have an impact on the organization,” Phillips said.

“It was a dream to combine my passion for business with my passion for sports,” he noted. “The sports conference opened doors for me. The networking connections I made at MIT Sloan — with the students who helped organize the conference and with the Career Development Office — were instrumental in landing this opportunity.”

At the end of the summer, Phillips presented his findings to a group of Patriots executives across several departments. “I was excited that my ideas were well received and will be implemented. I know it will be a process, but luckily the organization was open to new ways of doing things,” he said.

Phillips’ internship ended before the season began, so he was unable to see any Patriots’ regular season games first hand. However, he did have a front row seat to the team’s training camp practices and the first preseason game — a perk of working at the stadium.

Phillips and 40 other MIT Sloan students have begun work on the sixth annual Sports Analytics Conference, which will feature agent Scott Boras; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban; and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons — to name just a few. The Sports Analytics Conference will be held March 2-3, 2012, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, and 2,000 people are expected to attend.

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