Part of the Crew
Two students score internships with the Brewers
Kevin Florentino and Zack Barnett (pictured) were a bit intimidated on the first day of their internships. It was understandable, really. After all, the two athletic training majors landed jobs with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Barnett, a May 2009 graduate, is an assistant strength and conditioning coach working directly under the Brewers’ head strength and conditioning coach. Originally from Dodgeville, Wis., Barnett has been a lifelong Brewers fan. Fortunately, he was able to quickly shake his star-struck feelings.
“After the first day, I was ready to help with whatever came my way,” he says. “As an intern for a professional team, I feel it is more important to focus on the job at hand and not worry about who you’re working with.”
Florentino, a junior from Park Ridge, Ill., who works as an athletic training intern, had a similar experience.
“It was a little intimidating at first since you’re used to seeing these athletes on television,” Florentino says. “But once the initial shock wore off, it was actually pretty easy to get acclimated to the whole situation. It’s a lot different than working with high school or collegiate athletes.”
Different, indeed. A typical day for Barnett and Florentino can consist of assisting players with weight training, helping pitchers with their stretching routines, shagging balls during batting practice and prepping the team’s travel trunks with the proper equipment.
Both men would love to have careers working with professional athletes.
“I’ve taken so many different experiences away from working with the Brewers,” Barnett says. “I’ve learned new techniques in my field, but most of all I have learned many life lessons — things you just can’t learn on your own.”
His advice for future interns: “Trust your training and education, and you will be fine.” — CS