Columns/Opinion, Kerri Kosten, Local Sports, Sports

Hanson learns pro ropes working with Cubs, Bills

Morgantown native Tara Hanson is spending this summer in Des Moines, Iowa, where she’s   an  intern with the Chicago Cubs’ Class AAA minor-league team in Iowa.

“Interning with the Iowa Cubs has been a wonderful experience,” she said. “I am working in the stadium operations department, which gives you an outlook on how to properly run a successful stadium. As an intern you learn about everything from dealing with promotions and sponsorships to even learning the basics of washing the stands and other ‘you-think-easy’ tasks.”

Once school resumes in the fall, Hanson will be working at the Buffalo Bills ticket office.

“I am stoked to work for the Bills,” she said. “I will be working part-time in the ticketing office for any and all events going on at New Era Field.”

School is Niagara University  in the Buffalo, N.Y., area. Hanson  is a grad student  studying sports management. Her undergraduate degree was in accounting from Shepherd University.

A 2013 graduate of Morgantown High School, played softball and golf for years. She was offered scholarships for both sports and chose to go to Shephard for softball. Ironically, she turned down a golf scholarship to Niagara because she didn’t think she was ready to be that far from home.

She said she applied to three graduate schools: Niagara, WVU and Georgetown, expecting to go to WVU. Niagara and Georgetown accepted her first and she decided on Niagara because of the expense of Georgetown.

“Bills games are a big-time version of WVU games. I got to attend the “Snow Game” last year against the Indianapolis Colts where we couldn’t see anything in the stadium except for the people who were snowplowing the lines. It will be exciting to see how all of that plays out from an employee outlook, but I’m always ready for a challenge.”

And what is Buffalo like?

“Buffalo is cold,” Hanson said. “I love it though. The city is very up-and-coming and is almost as if it forgot that it was a bigger city.

“I’ve loved experiencing living in a town with multiple professional sports teams and being able to compare that to growing up in a college town. There are so many great opportunities that I have been able to jump on up in Buffalo.”

Hanson expects to graduate in December.

“I am hoping to obtain a full-time position with the Bills eventually, and also attend winter meetings for the MLB to get my resume out within that part of the industry,” she said. “I would love to end up working for the PGA Tour in hindsight, but we will have to see where the future takes me.”

Hanson comes from an athletic family. Her younger brother, Torin played a key role in helping the MHS basketball team go undefeated and win the 2016 state championship. Her older brother Travis played golf at West Virginia Wesleyan. She is the daughter of Ken and Karen Hanson.