That “around” in “Around Campus” is elastic.
In this story, it stretches some 60 miles south, to Philadelphia,
where Michael Gilmartin ’03 spent the fall semester as an
intern in the backshop of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Mike, 27, is one of those non-traditional students who returned
to finish college after working in the outside world. A resident
of Catasauqua, he graduated from high school in 1993 (the last
time the Phillies went to the World Series) and went directly to
a local community college. There he did “very poorly,” as
he admits, and after three semesters as a business administration
major, dropped out.
1998 he worked as an auto appraiser for his stepfather, who runs
an insurance agency. He also worked as
a counselor for KidsPeace
at its Orefield campus. During that time, he tried community
college again, this time majoring in psychology. But working
50 hours a week plus taking courses was “extremely stressful,” and
he also was beginning to realize that there was little he could
do in psychology without a master’s degree.
started looking into colleges, and I was accepted at Lehigh,” he
said. By then he was married and had a 2-year-old son, also
named Michael, and “I couldn’t afford it.” But
he was able to obtain a Phi Theta Kappa scholarship at Moravian. “I’d
always been pretty good at math,” he said, so his advisor
suggested accounting. Time had made a difference in his perspective
and his performance; he will finish his undergraduate degree
in business at the end of this academic year.
gentle irony in Mike’s internship is that he played baseball
in high school and was recruited by a couple of colleges
to play for them. With work and family, he had to let go of that
Yet here he was in Philadelphia, working for a professional
major-league ball club.
was an intern in the office of the controller, John Fusco,
who is responsible for the Phillies’ day-to-day financial
affairs, from payroll to concessions, equipment to merchandise.
many duties, the controller’s office channels revenues
from ticket sales to Major League Baseball, which in turn
pays the umpires.
you work here, you don’t really know what goes on,” Mike
says. He learned, for example, that for a night game
that begins at 7:00 p.m., the players get to the stadium no later
p.m. to work out, warm up, and practice, while the coaches
get there even earlier.
internship came about because of the professional friendship
between Fusco and John Rossi III ’97
(M.B.A.), assistant professor of accounting. “Rossi and
I go back a ways,” said
Fusco, who is as Philadelphia Italian as they come: short,
tough, friendly, voluble. They met as members of the Institute
Accountants, and Rossi “twisted my arm,” Fusco
speak to PICPA [Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public
Accountants] two years in a row.”
always been interested in athletics,” Mike said, “and
when I was talking with Professor Rossi about doing
an internship, I asked if he had any connections in the sports
field. And he did.”
addition to learning the ins and outs of baseball finance, Mike
spent his internship working on
commuted to the offices in Veterans Stadium two days a week for
most of the fall semester.
timing, he got
to participate in a bit of history: Vets, which
the Phillies shared
with the Philadelphia Eagles, will be torn down
at the end
of the 2003 baseball season. Mike is among the
last who will look
every day on the 31-year-old field.
in the finance office took their toll—he was too tired,
most of the time, to come back down after work
and go to night games.
don’t even have any Phillies paraphernalia,” he lamented.
Then he cheered up. “But my son has