As a student on UCFB’s BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting programme, Ben Fitzpatrick was lucky enough to secure a place on UCFB’s in-demand work placement at Baltimore Orioles, a Maryland-based team who compete in Major League Baseball (MLB), along with student Chloe Atkins.

Here, the UCFB Wembley student summarizes the experience for us, the key takeaways and why it’s made him more determined than ever to pursue a career in American sport…


What were your main roles on the placement?

During the placement, I had many roles that I was not expecting to take part in but were an absolute joy to do. While my main task was simply to watch, learn and ask questions, I also ended up helping out with the Group Ticketing team putting together merchandise packs for group clients, assisting the Corporate Partnerships team with a brand-new Chick-Fill-A bobblehead unveiling and subsequent activation. I also accompanied former Orioles relief pitcher Tippy Martinez to visit suites as part of the Alumni programme within the club.

It was all absolutely incredible to take part in - not only to see the inner workings of an MLB organization first-hand but also to get to know everyone on a personal level and what inspired their love for the job they do.

Favourite part of it?

It is very hard to narrow down one favourite part of the experience because what I got to take part in was truly once in a lifetime. I think, though, if I had to highlight one moment it would be being able to step into the clubhouse batting cages and have a session with former Rookie of The Year Al Bumbry teaching us how to swing and hit. I joked prior to the experience that I would probably pass out if we got the chance to have that kind of access and experience but when it actually happened, I was so excited and could hardly contain myself when I actually got to step in the cage. Perhaps the less said about my swing, though, the better…

Any challenges?

I think the biggest challenge for me was actually when it came to having to leave! It was such an incredible experience in every possible way and only further confirmed my major desire to work in play-by-play in the United States. Every single person that I met from every area of the organisation was just an absolute joy to be around which certainly made saying goodbye extremely difficult.

Biggest thing learned?

The biggest thing that I took away from the time I spent with the Orioles is how much work truly goes into making live baseball possible. From the work in the production and broadcast booth to making sure the coverage runs smoothly to the clubhouse and grounds crew ensuring that everything is where it needs to be for a game, there is so much that needs to gel together for the long haul that is 80+ games and events that take place throughout the season.


How will this help in your studies at UCFB and future career?

With this extra insight and the connections that I have made through networking and getting the chance to shadow the professionals, this experience has truly, in my view, launched my dream career from just a fever dream into something that could truly be possible. It has only made me more determined to get as much of a variety of play-by-play experience as possible and work for that dream offer at the end of my course. A massive thank you to everyone at UCFB and the Baltimore Orioles.

UCFB's Employability & Career Planning Manager, Simon Fitzjohn, who organised the placement, added: "Thanks to the Baltimore Orioles, our two students were able to enjoy a fabulous working opportunity at a American major league sports franchise, getting incredible access to all departments across the business. The Orioles really rolled out the red carpet for Ben and Chloe and we need to give special thanks to John Angelos, Lisa Tolson and Wendy Morrison at the franchise for making this wonderful experience happen."

Find out more about UCFB.