Las Vegas Motor Speedway Internship
Wednesday, September 26 2018 12:00am
MSA '19's traveled to Las Vegas for 10 Days to intern for the Inaugural South Point 400
By: David Compher
Michael Wolfert (MSA ’19) didn’t want to leave the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. A South Carolina alum, who’s only experience with NASCAR was going to Darlington Raceway as a student, never worked in the sport and had no affiliation growing up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. However, after working the Pennzoil 400 this past spring, he fell in love with the fast paced work and empowerment at the office at LVMS. “It’s all about the people. The respect that was shown towards us and the friendly environment made this office culture a special one.” Shortly after, Michael got a call from Jennifer Stefano, Director of Marketing and who was in charge of recruiting the interns from Ohio University, informed Michael that he would be the captain for the MSA team for the Inaugural playoff race in the Fall. “I was so excited to be going back, and I couldn’t wait to help put together a team that I knew would give 100% in their work effort”.
From September 7th to September 17th 5 MSA students, including Wolfert, interned for Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Inaugural South Point 400 NASCAR playoff. Throughout the 10-day period, they were a part of 4 races – The Star Nursery 100, the Westgate 200, the DC Solar 300 and the South Point 400. Their responsibilities ranged from event operations, parking assistance, sales and marketing, and suite & hospitality operations.
The interns were treated like family from day 1. They were welcomed with open arms and put immediately to work. Many of them assisted in the first ever “Turn 4, Turn-Up” an area outside of turn 4, composed of a swimming pool, a Ferris-Wheel and lawn games for race fans to enjoy. Brynn Cooley (MSA ’19) who worked on Turn 4 said, “It was great to see the creativity the raceway has and is able to implement. To be able to take a large space and think of ways to attract more family-friendly fans was truly amazing to be a part of.”
In addition, Zac Lazzaro (MSA ’19) played a vital role on Saturday in his participation in the National Hispanic Day. Lazzaro was in charge of being the point of contact, while also helping in coordinate and plan the day which consisted of a local high school mariachi band, driver appearance from Daniel Suarez and Victoria La Mala, who sang the national anthem for that days race.
Overall the MSA interns learned many takeaways from their experience in Vegas. The ability to think on their feet, new venue management, and working with a veteran staff. “As a race fan, who has been to many NASCAR events this year, I can say, that my experience at LVMS was extremely valuable”, said Anthony Tate (MSA ’19) the MSA’s NASCAR expert.
The MSA’s would like to thank Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Jennifer Stefano, Kevin Camper and Chris Powell for allowing them to be a part of such a phenomenal event.