WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Sept. 5, 2017 — For senior Meredith Garner summer 2017 was more than just another summer break. Garner got a chance to work with minor league baseball team the West Virginia Black Bears, based in Granville, W.Va. and an affiliate of Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I knew about Black Bears from the time I lived in Morgantown. The team has a great communications department, and I was lucky to learn from them,” she said. Garner is studying public relations and worked hard to land a real-world experience in her professional field before graduating from WLU.
Besides professional experience, Garner also received an academic credit for her senior capstone in the College of Arts and Communication.
“I wanted to find an internship somewhat close to home. So I applied anywhere and everywhere in the area. I looked at places in Pittsburgh, Wheeling and Morgantown,” she said. She still remembers the day in April when she received a call from the Black Bears.
“I loved baseball since I was a little girl, so getting a chance to work with the team was like a dream come true.”
The Black Bears joined the New York—Penn League in 2015 and shares Monongalia County Ballpark with West Virginia University’s Mountaineers.
Garner started her internship the Monday after her finals week and worked long days, 40-50 hours a week. “The experience was worth it,” she said. “I got to spend time with the team, be in the fan environment at the stadium, see our mascot and players interact with kids. It was great!”
Upon her return to WLU campus, Garner also found out that she was hired for an on-campus internship with WLU Media Relations office.
“West Liberty University gave me so many opportunities. I loved the campus since I had a tour here, but now it’s more than that. It’s home,” she said. Garner transferred to WLU in her junior year of college from West Virginia University.
Her last year at WLU, Garner wants to stay involved in campus activities. She is currently a public relations chair of her sorority, Lambda Psi Sigma, a captain of the WLU dance team and a new member of WLU acro and tumbling team.
Garner already started making plans for the future. She is hoping to join the Disney College Program as a paid intern in spring 2018 and then look for a job in North Carolina afterwards.
“I’ll keep my options open, but I hope I get a chance to work in sports industry again.”
WLU offers career services in its Learning and Student Development Center, located in Main Hall, Room 140.
The Hilltoppers are a charter member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference with nearly 400 student-athletes participating across a broad spectrum of 18 intercollegiate sports. These include men’s football, cross country, basketball, wrestling, track, tennis, baseball and golf along with women’s softball, volleyball, cross country, basketball, track, tennis, golf and soccer. Most recently the university added women’s acrobatics and tumbling to the mix along with men’s soccer.
Offering nearly 70 undergraduate majors and 30 programs, WLU prides itself on providing its students with a caring, affordable college experience. Graduate programs include the Master of Arts in Education, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, the Master of Professional Studies, the Master of Science in Criminology, the online MBA and the new MA/MS in Biology. For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Media Relations intern Natasha Muhametzyanova.