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An internship with the Portland Pickles solidifies Simon Luedtke’s plans for the future

An internship with the Portland Pickles solidifies Simon Luedtke’s plans for the future

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Simon Luedtke, a male student in his early 20s with brown hair, is holding a blue scarf that says "Pickles" in green letters as he leans on the fence of a baseball dugout. Simon has a green shirt that has a cartoon pickle in the center.

Image: Simon Luedtke ’24 spent the summer interning for the Portland Pickles, a collegiate woodbat baseball team based out of Portland, OR. (PLU Photo / Sy Bean)

November 29, 2023
By Jeffrey Roberts
PLU Marketing & Communications

Simon Luedtke ’24 is a strategic communication major from Newberg, Oregon. His communication studies, combined with his part-time job with PLU Athletics, helped him land a summer internship with the Portland Pickles, a baseball team with an unforgettable name and a legendary Portland brand. Simon recently sat down with PLU News to share about his unforgettable experience.

What was your internship experience like working with the Portland Pickles?

The internship was a lot of work. It was about 60-ish hours per week. A typical game day would have us getting to the field at 11 a.m., we would set up the stadium, set up the merch tent, put up posters, etc. Then we’d have a production meeting to discuss what the day is going to look like once fans arrive and the broadcast begins.

I was one of three full-time broadcast interns so we’d go over, “Okay, what’s most important? What are we filming? When are we cutting to commercial breaks? What type of shots are we’re going to look for tonight?”

They were definitely putting you to work! What was one of your favorite memories from interning with the Pickles?

Definitely this one game where the Pickles were down 8-0 late in the game, then scored eight runs and tied it up and forced extra innings. The game started at 7 p.m. and it hit midnight and people were like, “Oh my goodness, are the lights going to go off?”

Lights ended up going off at 12:15, game still hadn’t ended, and all of the baseball players from both teams and the hundred or so fans that were remaining all rushed the field and it turned into a big party. They turned the disco lights on our party deck and it was just really fun to have that day. Then the very next day the game got rained out so we ran and slid all over the field. That 24-hours was just a ton of fun.

That sounds like a great way to spend a summer! What first sparked your interest in the sports industry?

I love sports. I grew up playing sports. My brother and I used to play in our backyard and my parents are also big sports fans so they would take us to Mariners and Timbers games. I got a job at PLU with the Sports Information Department and they prompted me to apply for this internship with the Pickles. I loved working the sports games on campus and I wanted to see what it was like in the corporate sports world. Growing up, I never thought there was a possibility to work in the sports industry, but now that I realize there is, I really want to do that.

What’s your advice to students who are on the fence about looking for a spring or summer internship?

Try to have an experience. I have more connections now, especially in the sports industry, than I would have had if I did something else this summer. Internships are so much fun and they’re a really good way to get into the corporate world, get your foot in the door, and experience what life after college may be like. If you really like your internship, it provides affirmations that the field you’re interested in is probably a good fit for you. Plus, if you don’t like the internship, then that provides a great insight to what you don’t want to do.

Simon scans the field before making a pass during a PLU Men's Ultimate Frisbee game in March 2023.

Let’s go back in time a few years. How did you pick PLU?

There were a couple of factors. I was looking at smaller universities where I could be on the golf team. Plus, my brother was going to PLU. I started out at PLU during COVID-19, so it was really nice that my brother was here. I also like being a little ways away from home, but close enough that I go back easily – that was a big draw as well. 

Have you been able to stay rooted in your Oregon community while going to school up at PLU?

Oh, I’m able to stay rooted 100% of the time. I go down two or three times a semester just to visit my partner and stay connected with that community. I still have a lot of good high school friends down there. I feel like I’m home there, but also, after three years at PLU, I definitely feel like I have a great community here as well. 

What are some of the things that helped you feel like you had a community here at PLU?

100%, the ultimate Frisbee team. I’ve always been a golfer, which is really an individualized sport. On the PLU frisbee team, having a team aspect has shown me that you can get a great group of people together and have those deep conversations, have those fun times together, and it just feels a lot different. I feel at home here at PLU because of that team and I’m confident on and off the field because I have a great support group behind me here.

In a few months you’ll be a PLU graduate. What do you hope to do after commencement?

Before my working with PLU Athletics and the Portland Pickles, I had no clue what I wanted to do after college. Now I have two paths that are possibilities. The first would be going to work for a sports franchise, either in the ticket sales world or in a sports communication office. The second option would be going to work in a sports information office in a college athletics department. I’m open to going anywhere in the country. My internship made me 100% sure that I want to go into the sports industry.

Simon Luedtke (far left, green Pickles shirt) poses with the rest of the Portland Pickles summer interns.