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WATCH NOW: Sullivan making most of Pioneers internship

WATCH NOW: Sullivan making most of Pioneers internship


Lauren Sullivan talks about her experience as an intern with the Pioneers.

A missed opportunity led Lauren Sullivan to an internship with the Western Nebraska Pioneers.

Last summer, Sullivan had an internship with a non-profit organization because of the pandemic.

“I just wanted an internship this summer because, last year, my plans got ruined,” Sullivan said. “I found this on Handshake (a job service for college students online), along with some other Expedition League teams.”

Chuck and Mayra Heeman were the first to respond to her inquiries.

“I thought it’d be just a great opportunity to come explore a different part of the country,” she said.

Sullivan is majoring in marketing and sports management at the University of Montana, and found the Pioneers internship as a great opportunity to explore her career choices, she said.

“I’m more leaning towards management now. I want to eventually work for either an MLB team or an NFL team,” she said. “Growing up, my brother played football and baseball, so I was always around that.”

Working for the Pioneers is giving her some valuable experience, she said.

“I’ve been able to do a variety of different things. Right now, I’m taking on the role of personnel. I’m scheduling all the game day staff, and I work closely with them,” Sullivan said. “I like being able to interact with the staff and the guests. I usually help Connie (Ernest) with the party decks, so I get to interact with those guests a lot.”

Sullivan, who is from Butte, Montana, said she has been surprised by the community’s support for the Pioneers.

“Gering is definitely smaller (than Butte), but I feel like baseball is more a part of the community. The fans here are very supportive,” she said. “I did a little research about the team before applying. I was just amazed that such a small town could lead the Expedition League in attendance.”

Sullivan said the internship with the Pioneers was also a way for her to see more of the country.

“I’ve been in Montana my whole life. I wanted to just step out of my comfort zone and go somewhere new,” she said.

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Jeff Van Patten is the sports editor of the Star-Herald. Jeff can be reached by calling 308-632-9048 or emailing

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