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Intern Insider: Matthews Has Designs on Astros Internship

It must have been a surreal moment for anyone viewing the scene: Two women, sitting in the lobby of the Houston Astros Minute Maid Park, crying with each other. One spouting tears of happiness and acceptance, the other of memories and appreciation.

Caroline Matthews was thrilled she received an internship with the Houston Astros.
There sat junior journalism and corporate communicationsmajor Caroline Matthews and Houston Astros human resources coordinator ChandaLawdermilk enjoying their moment, celebrating Matthews’ new summer position asa graphics intern in the marketing department of the Major League Baseballfranchise.

Matthews couldn’t have been happier, she says, because shegrew up in Houston, where she attended Astros games first at the Astrodome,then at Minute Maid Park, where the team plays now. Lawdermilk could empathizebecause she, too, had been an intern for the Astros a few years ago beforecatching on full-time.

“Every morning it’s just a dream, walking through the emptypark,” Matthews said of her morning stroll from parking lot to office. “I can’tbelieve these people let me be an intern.”

Since beginning three weeks ago, Matthews has completed 10print advertisements for area newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, theHouston Press and Rumbo, a Spanish-language paper. She’s put together apromotional back-to-school binder that will be handed out to the first 10,000kids who attend an upcoming Astros game.

And, in what she says is one of her major responsibilitiesso far, she has been asked to design a T-shirt that plays on outfielder LanceBerkman’s new nickname, Big Puma.

“They’re letting me do so much,” she says. “It’s really amazing.”

Matthews, who participates in leadership roles in both PRSSAand The Pendulum, initially applied for an internship in the Astros mediarelations department. The positions were full by the time the Astros receivedher application materials.

But in her cover letter, Matthews had written extensivelyabout her design experience, so Lawdermilk asked if she would consider applyingto be a graphics intern. Matthews agreed, so she sent design samples, did aphone interview during spring break and had an in-person, hour-long interviewat the start of April.

She was offered the internship the same day, and shortlythereafter, she and Lawdermilk enjoyed their cry.

“I can’t believe I’m working there,” Matthews says. ‘It’sprobably one of best experiences I’ve ever had. Saturday, I went to the(Astros) game and sat next to a cute old lady. She was hugging me and puttingher hand on my leg. She told me she had a daughter who worked in the (St.Louis) Cardinals organization. She said (the internship) changed her, and itwas the most exciting summer she ever had in college.

“Every day I wake up so thankful to be working alongside my boys Berkman, (outfielder Hunter) Pence, (shortstop Miguel) Tejada, (closer Jose) Valverde and (second baseman Kaz) Matsui."

Intern Insider will run one to two times aweek during the summer and will feature brief stories about some of theinterns from the School of Communications.
Colin Donohue,
7/14/2008 11:29 AM