Between all of his football workouts, Khephren Spigner ’18 can get pretty busy. During orientation week though, The Argus had the chance to sit down with Spigner and pick his brain about his exciting summer experience. Spigner, a native of Laguna Hills, Calif., spent his summer as an intern at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., a notable tourist attraction for baseball fans nationwide. He and 18 other college students spent 10 weeks in the small town, working at the hall in various departments.
The Argus: Can you briefly describe yourself and what you do on campus?
Khephren Spigner: I’m sorry, I’ve never been good at describing myself because I have a ton of interests [laughs]. But I can tell you what I am involved with on campus. I play for the football team, I’m a part of the Edgar Beckham Awards Committee, Wesleyan Association for Gender Equality, Notably Sharp acapella group, Cardinal Pictures, Invisible Men, and Team Impact Leadership Board. I also am a Wesleyan Admissions Intern, and I work for KidCity on Washington Street in Middletown.
TA: What did your work this summer mainly consist of?
KS: This summer I was a part of the Steele Internship program and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I was one of 18 interns selected out of five hundred applicants. My department specifically was programming. I interacted with museum visitors, promoted and lead interactive programs, lead tours, and planned large events for baseball fans. I personally created an innovative children’s program promoting health and fitness, which got children involved in the physical aspect of baseball. I also assisted with induction weekend, interacting with Hall of Famers and over fifty thousand guests. This year we inducted Ken Griffey, Jr., and Mike Piazza.
TA: Did you have any major takeaways or learning experiences from the work?
KS: What was great about this internship was the freedom we had throughout the museum. Most internships put the interns at the bottom of the corporate chain, but at the Hall they looked to us to run the museum efficiently by ourselves. Some interns were writing and posting front page articles, some organizing Babe Ruth’s bat, some ordering new products for the gift shop, some interacting with the Hall of Famers during induction weekend. Personally, my department looked to run the daily programs by ourselves. It was essentially just four interns creating the programming in the museum. This would be normal in a small museum; however, Cooperstown is the home of baseball; it’s on people’s bucket list for years; it’s special. We see thousands of visitors in a day and my department was called upon to leave a great impression and represent the small town in upstate New York. Apart from the normal lessons learned from working outside of Wesleyan, I also learned what it takes to effectively plan and run day to day processes for a museum, which I am sure can be applied to other places.
TA: Did you have one experience that stuck out the most to you, for whatever reason?
KS: The coolest experience I got was induction weekend. Not only was it amazing to be at the home of baseball for the induction weekend, I actually got to meet with hall of famers during the weekend. As the scholarship winner I got the chance to meet the great [former Cardinals shortstop] Ozzie Smith who helps with the internship program. When I walked in to the conference room to meet him, [Hall of Famers] John Smoltz, Craig Biggio, and Goose Gossage….They were all there. They were interested in my life and asking me questions, which was amazing to be in the presence of so much greatness. Later that day, my department of interns as well as some lucky fans got to play some infield with these Hall of Famers on a real field, an experience you can’t ever forget.
TA: How did you come across the opportunity, and would you recommend it to others?
KS: Honestly, I just got lucky scrolling through Google. It was the best summer internship anyone could ever ask for. They have departments for all majors and all interest, and if you like or love baseball you just can’t pass up applying to this internship.