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UWRF students gain experience at Chiefs Camp

UW-River Falls students help out at the Chiefs' training camp in a variety of ways, like stacking blocking dummies.

RIVER FALLS - Having the Kansas City Chiefs practice at your University is a big deal, but can you imagine interning or working with the NFL franchise during the Summer Training Camp?

UWRF students take on several positions during camp ranging from camp couriers, concessions staff, or working the sidelines.

Students Matt Rimnac and Renee Thony are a couple of the returning staff members this summer. Rimnac, a senior from Burnsville, Minn, was a courier last summer and is the Assistant Camp Coordinator to Larry Testa this summer. His main duties include supervising the couriers, guest volunteer coordinator and housing coordinator.

Rimnac mentioned he expects the hardest part of his job this summer will be "coordinating everything to unexpected event can occur and could alter the whole schedule for the day. For instance," he added, "If the two couriers are out on a run and I get a call from the trainer saying he needs someone to go on an MRI run, I would need to see if I could get another staff member to step in as a temporary courier. It is extremely important that I know where each of the staff members are at any given time in case a situation similar to this were to happen." Other than getting to know his own staff, Rimnac is also looking forward to another great training camp and getting to know the Kansas City Chiefs staff even more than last year. After he graduates in May 2010, he wants to get an internship with medical devices or in pharmaceutical sales.

Renee Thony, a senior from Rio, Wis., will be returning to the University Communications staff as a sideline reporter. This summer she takes on an additional job as the web editor as well. As web editor, she will be editing interns' daily updates that appear on the UWRF Chiefs summer training camp website. And as a sidelines reporter covering the Chiefs defense, she will walk between the linemen, linebackers and defensive backs to observe the players and coaches. "I love football and I think it's awesome that the Chiefs have their Summer Training Camp in River Falls," said Thony. "It helps the community...when the students leave a college town, usually traffic and spending in the community tend to go down. However, in this town, when the students leave, the Chiefs come in and help create a consistent flow of income." After graduation in May 2010, she hopes to work in sports journalism. Thony stated, "ESPN would be a far-fetched dream of mine."

The training camp also brings in some new student staff members this summer. UWRF junior Jubilynn Hanka from Minneapolis is the guest volunteer coordinator. Hanka stated, "I'm excited to see everything finally come together. I love being part of one big process for one big cause. I have coordinated and planned other events, but nothing as big as this before, but I'm ready for it!"

Some would say one of the most interactive positions in getting to know the players is as a courier. Junior Wade Guerin, Bloomington, Minn., and sophomore Chris Giebe from Berlin, Germany, take on the roles that many people dream of. They get to drive a black 2009 Suburban while bringing players to and from the airport, making clinic runs and other errands. They get to have personal time with the staff and players plus gain insight of business organization in the office.

Guerin and Geibe both agree that a lot of flexibility, heavy communication and quick problem solving are required in their positions. Giebe said, "Everything is tentative and your day can be restructured in seconds. Even though it is a fun job, no slacking is allowed because 100 percent perfection is expected out of us and we need to get things done on a moments' notice sometimes." Guerin added to Giebe's statement, "I picked up someone today at noon in River Falls who had to be to Savage, Minn., by 1 p.m. and then I had a 1:54 p.m. pickup at the airport. Even though our schedules can seem packed at times, we can never be late and are expected to provide everyone with world-class service."

UWRF student workers get to see the inside scoop of how a summer training camp is run. It is an opportunity of a lifetime. After all, how many people get to say, "Oh by the way, I got to work with the Kansas City Chiefs during their summer training camp."