BEVERLY, Mass. — "Luck is always by design."
So goes the saying Alex Barmore (Southington, Conn.) had never heard of until she attended the NFL Women's Career in Football Forum last month.
The statement — "luck is always by design" — is intended to make someone understand that the perception that successful people are inherently lucky is false. Successful people put themselves in a position to be "lucky" on a consistent basis.
Despite not being self-aware of it at the time, that philosophy is the main reason why Barmore, a sport management major at Endicott College, has turned her freshman year internship with the Boston College football program into a post-graduate internship with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.
"I had the opportunity to hire Alex as a high school football camp intern for a month at Boston College Football back when she was a freshman. A number of college students applied and she was one of 10 that was selected. Alex immediately displayed the qualities that people look for when hiring in football. She arrived early every morning (usually beating me to the office!) and left late every night. She adapted very quickly and gladly accepted the variety of responsibilities we gave her (inputting test scores, checking-in campers, running the information desk, setting up meeting rooms, directing people around a campus she barely knew herself… those are just a few examples)," said Venessa Hutchinson, who currently serves as the Senior Manager for Football Development at the NFL.
Hutchinson continued, in regards to Barmore's work ethic.
"Alex stood out because no job was too small, she was just excited to work and very appreciative of the opportunity. She had that unyielding work ethic for working in football, the passion for the sport, and the willingness to start wherever she needed to in order to work her way up," said Hutchinson. "She did such a tremendous job that I invited her to help out on game days in Chestnut Hill in the fall with our recruiting department. She commuted up on Saturdays and helped us out that season with our prospective athletes that were visiting."
Not only did Barmore's work ethic stand out to Hutchinson, but so did her ability to professionally network.
Those two qualities eventually led Barmore to her opportunity with the NFL Women's Career in Football Forum last month and now the Indianapolis Colts.
"Alex has—for the four years that I have known her—shown diligence and a drive for working in the sport through obtaining opportunities with both Endicott football and Yale. She did a great job of keeping me aware of her latest experiences and explaining what her hopes were for the future. She asked questions, sought advice, and has stayed dedicated to her goal of working in football," stated Hutchinson. "It was a very easy decision to accept Alex in to attend the NFL Women's Careers in Football Forum. She possessed the prerequisites that we were looking for: 1-3 years of experience working in college football, a passion for working in the game and progressing in it, and the drive to take the next steps in her career."
Barmore could only describe the experience in late February as "once in a lifetime."
"There wasn't a moment that went by over the course of the two-day forum that I wasn't exuding happiness, excitement, and/or curiosity. The Women's Forum itself, was an incredibly well-executed event filled with opportunities for 40 qualified women working in football to network with high powered individuals within the National Football League," said Barmore.
For Barmore, the forum was filled with a never-ending reel of surprises and opportunities, which included listening to NFL Head Coaches John Harbaugh, Bruce Arians, Sean McDermott, and Ron Rivera speak about the cultures they instill in their programs, their open-minded and positive attitudes towards women working in football and their advice to all 40 women in the room about working in the NFL or football in general.
Barmore's two-day agenda also included NFL Player Personnel panels and breakout discussions that included the following topics: player personnel, football operations, coaching, football administration, research, and strategy.
Roundtables and presentations were a part of the agenda as well, most notably an overview of the Operations of the NFL Combine, Best Practices to Succeed - which was led by the CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports Patti Phillips - and the Female Leaders in the NFL Panel.
Along with the educational side of the forum, networking was just as key - if not more important - to the overall two-day experience.
"A part of this entire experience that shouldn't go unnoticed is the 'extra' time I had outside of the forum. I looked to connect with everyone and anyone, and my experience wouldn't have been what it was without the connections and relationships I was able to make while sitting in a restaurant talking with the people around me," said Barmore. "I went into this experience with the mentality that 'no connection is a bad connection' and made sure that I made the most out of every conversation I had with every individual that crossed my path. From waiters/waitresses at restaurants to elevator conversations, I looked to connect with people, a concept that was well reciprocated throughout my experience. I believe that a shared mentality of people attending the NFL Combine was to understand everyone's purpose for being there, as you never know who you are going to see again someday."
Through that practice, Barmore was able to connect with the following people, among many others, in addition to reconnecting with Hutchinson.
- Sam Rapoport (Senior Director at the National Football League)
- Chris Ballard (GM Indianapolis Colts)
- Mitch Chester (Assistant Director of Football Operations Indianapolis Colts)
- Scott Pioli (Assistant GM of Atlanta Falcons)
- Kate Kost (Manager of Football Operations Los Angeles Rams)
Along with the previously mentioned people, Barmore also connected with coaches and player personnel from the following teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and the New Orleans Saints.
"This experience [the forum/networking opportunities] exponentially solidified my desire to work in the NFL, and motivated me to continue on the career path that I am currently on," said Barmore. "I have an extremely enthusiastic approach to life, and always try to live in the moment. Having the opportunity to listen to individuals who currently occupy the job that I would like to have one day, gave me an overwhelming amount of motivation to work as hard as I possibly can to get to where I want to be."
THE COLTS INTERNSHIP
Everything up until this point — the collective experiences with Southington High School as an athletics intern, Boston College Football, Endicott Football, Yale Football, and all the networking — led up to this moment…
a cell phone call from the Indianapolis Colts.
which signified the culmination of all "the luck" Barmore had put into working in the NFL.
to achieve a lifetime dream.
CHANGED IT ALL...
"I was overcome with feelings of elation, eagerness, and a sense of accomplishment upon picking up the phone and receiving/accepting the offer as a Training Camp Intern with the Indianapolis Colts. I was overwhelmed with excitement and was immediately motivated to become the hardest worker in the room, wanting to bring value to the organization. The idea, 'You want to be so valuable they can't imagine letting you go' immediately came to mind, this idea that ironically was stressed a few days later when I attended the NFL Forum," elated Barmore. "When I received the phone call from the Colts, I was in the Endicott Football Office in an environment that could closely be compared to a small snapshot of NFL Draft Day; myself agreeing and thanking the Colts for the offer, and the Endicott football coaches jumping around in excitement. I was happy to take the call in the Endicott Office, as it truly showed the support I have behind me from the Endicott Staff."
"After doing research on the Colts Organization, I was fully prepared to accept an offer without hesitation, as they are known around the League to have an incredible culture under the management of General Manager Chris Ballard," said Barmore. "Being offered the internship and accepting said offer was surreal, as I have always talked about someday working in the NFL. This opportunity will be an incredible stepping stone for my professional career, and will provide me unparalleled experience in an NFL environment."
The Colts' 2019 Training Camp internship will run from early July until mid-August.
Barmore's duties as a Colts' Training Camp intern will include airport pickups/drop-offs, physical runs, assist in preparation for the 2019 Training Camp, assist in preparation for the 2019 season, coordinate pickups/drop-offs for Training Camp, set up and break down at Training Camp, tracking player participation and a project.
The project, which will include her giving a 30-minute presentation at the conclusion of camp, will encompass one or more of the following topics: football operations, player engagement, player personnel, salary cap, and/or analytics.
To some, all of the hard work Barmore has put in to get to this point might not seem worth it — and to others, it certainly might; there are A LOT of football fanatics out there.
However, what's most important is that it's given Barmore the answer to her "why?"
"A life on the sidelines of football has provided me with life lessons, core values, and incredible memories. The lessons learned from the sport of football not only reach players and coaches, but also have the power to teach commitment, work ethic, and discipline to all who take time to appreciate the game in front of them," said Barmore. "It is a sport focused on teamwork, and embodies the meaning of family, providing outlets for individuals to belong to something greater than themselves."
Having found her why and dream internship through football, the only "Luck" Barmore will focus on in the next part of her NFL journey will be a guy who goes by the name of Andrew, and the rest of his squad.
THE ENDICOTT INTERNSHIP MODEL
Endicott College is a pioneer in requiring comprehensive internship experiences in every program of study for undergraduate students. A philosophy of "learning by doing" permeates the college curriculum in which students are encouraged to integrate theory and practice in all of their studies.
Through their experiences in internships students will be prepared to:
- Apply, integrate, and evaluate knowledge within a particular academic discipline
- Develop competencies for careers and community service
- Explore career options and gain field experience
- Foster personal growth through increased self-confidence, interpersonal skills, an understanding of self and others, and a heightened awareness of ethical standards
- Improve the ability to learn in a self-directed manner
ENDICOTT SPORT MANAGEMENT MAJOR
The sport management program at Endicott provides students with academic knowledge and practical experiences that foster an understanding of and appreciation for the sport industry. The sport management program promises an academically rigorous experience within a student-centered learning environment that promotes professionalism, collegiality, and scholarship.
As with all Endicott programs, internships are a critical part of our curriculum, and they frequently lead directly to employment upon graduation. In sport management, internship opportunities typically include professional sport teams, intercollegiate athletics, sport marketing firms, amateur sports organizations, resorts, and health and fitness clubs.
(Photo Credit - AP Photo/AJ Mast)