The North American Hockey League is not just a junior hockey league but a league about development, growth and advancement. People think about that most when it comes to players, coaches and hockey operations staff but it’s the goal for a lot of the front office staff and interns too. Colten Decker, who graduated from St. Cloud State University in December with a double major in Marketing and Sports Management, is wrapping up his final week with the organization before moving on to a position with a real estate company in Plymouth, MN.
“I ended up accepting an amazing job at Lennar Corporation as a Sales Coordinator and this was due heavily to my experience in sales and business development with the Norsemen,” admits Decker. “I was grateful to receive interviews from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns over the past few months and ultimately ended up going in a different route that wasn’t in the sports industry. This internship experience helped me build my resume and if students are looking to get into the sports industry, it’s critical to gain experience while in college.”
Decker, who hails from nearby Cold Spring, MN, will be acting as the first point of contact for Lennar and converting internet customer traffic into viable sales prospects while also guiding customers through the consultative sales process. He also will be educating customers on community home offerings and managing electronic marketing collateral to prospective customers. His duties will include monitoring and updating website data, digital photography, illustrations and virtual tours on Lennar’s website. “It’s a sales role with a little bit of marketing sprinkled in,” Decker explains.
“We’re sad to lose him but incredibly proud and happy for Colten and this opportunity,” boasts St. Cloud Norsemen Director of Operations Erick Zamora. “He came in mid-season in January and has been an invaluable resource since he walked in the door. We feel like we’re improving every day around here and Colten was a vital part of getting that ball rolling. The end of the season for the Norsemen finished really well in so many aspects and Colten was as responsible for the strong finish to the 2022-23 season as anyone.”
Decker served as an intern to the Director of Operations position and really got involved in almost every aspect of the organization. He looks back at the last five months and feels his new job and opportunity may not have been possible without his experience with the Norsemen. “I really enjoyed my time working here. It gave me opportunities to learn about what goes into running an organization and the time and effort put in to make everything work,” describes Decker. “On the business development and sales side, it helped me put everything I learned in school into the work place. Talking to businesses for partnerships, sponsors, group outings, etc. really benefits interpersonal communications skills, whether that be over the phone or in person.”
St. Cloud State University was a critical part of Decker’s success as well. “By majoring in Marketing and also Sports Management, the criteria learned in coursework at SCSU was heavily correlated into this internship and I’d heavily recommend it to anyone looking in the sports industry or even business development and sales roles for other industries,” Decker advises.
Decker begins his new job with Lennar Corporation at the end of the month, after being flown out to Miami, FL for some on-site training. The Norsemen are hoping he won’t remain a stranger and have even extended an invitation for him to come back and work some game nights next season or to take in a few games just as a fan.
If you’re interested in becoming an intern for the St. Cloud Norsemen, please reach out to Erick Zamora at email@example.com or you can call their office at 320-774-1159.