Amherst Magazine

Amherst Connects a Student and an Alum

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Sarah Gelles '10 interned with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

An interview with Sarah Gelles ’10 and Neal Huntington ’91

Sarah Gelles ’10 grew up in Philadelphia as a Phillies fan and has always loved baseball. She knew even before coming to Amherst that she wanted to work for a major league club someday. With help from Amherst alumni, she’s well on her way. Sarah spent the summer between her junior and senior years as an intern in the baseball operations department of the Pittsburgh Pirates. She learned about the opportunity from a phone conversation with Neal Huntington ’91, the Pirates’ general manager.

How did this internship come together?

SARAH: A lot of people teased me for choosing Amherst over Williams, because George Steinbrenner went to
Williams. They’d say, ‘How could you pass that up?’ But it turns out Amherst has a much better alumni network!

Starting my freshman year, I met an alum who worked for the Cleveland Indians. I also used the career network to find alums involved with all the different teams. I’ve attended the Career Center’s Alumni in Sports panels every year. My sophomore year, I had a phone conversation with Neal Huntington ’91. We talked for 45 minutes.

NEAL: Sarah inquired about an internship with the organization and how I got into what I do and any thoughts or advice for her. Then she went through our application process and was selected to be one of our handful of interns. Sarah was awarded the internship based on her impressive credentials and did a great job with us last summer.

What are some of the benefits of being a part of the Amherst community of students and alumni?

SARAH: Almost every single person I e-mailed was more helpful than I even expected, whether it was coming to Amherst to have coffee with me, sending e-mails on my behalf or returning my call, even though [these people] were very high up in a baseball organization and had way more important things to do.

NEAL: I was very fortunate in that while I was at Amherst, [baseball] coach [Bill] Thurston opened some doors for me, introducing me to Dan Duquette [’80] and other alumni. This led to an internship with the Montreal Expos while Dan was the assistant general manager with the team. When Dan was promoted to general manager, he brought me onboard in an entry-level position. I’ve always been grateful to Amherst. So when Amherst students call, I try to give them time.


If you have an internship to offer or are interested in being a mentor to an intern, contact Ken Koopmans, manager of internship programs, at (413) 542-8419 or kkoopmans@amherst.edu.

Photo by Samuel Masinter '04