By Eric Peterson, The Forum
MOORHEAD—Tomi Thompson was at a Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers game a few years ago when she decided what she wanted to do for a career.
During one of the media timeouts at the Metrodome, the wife of a military member was recognized for her husband serving overseas. The wife was then surprised by her spouse who had returned home. The couple hugged in an emotional scene.
“I would say that was the moment,” said Thompson, a 2010 Barnesville (Minn.) High School graduate. “The reason that I love working in sports is that you’re able to connect with such a diverse network of people.”
Thompson, who graduates from Minnesota State Moorhead on Friday, May 13, recently accepted a job with the Green Bay Packers. She will be the “brand and fan engagement” intern for the storied NFL franchise, a paid and full-time internship that lasts one year.
“I grew up in Minnesota and I cheered for the Vikings, but I loved so much about this division,” Thompson said. “I’m definitely a Packers fan now. I get to work with one of the most historic teams in the country.”
Thompson, 24, has worked in marketing and promotion for the Dragons athletic department for the past two years. She interned for the Vikings last summer for a month while the team was at training camp in Mankato, Minn.
A few weeks ago, Thompson interviewed (her second interview) for the position with the Packers at historic Lambeau Field. Thompson, who grew up on a farm near Barnesville, fell in love with the stadium and Green Bay.
“Green Bay is literally a town that thrives on football. I can’t imagine a more perfect place to start a career in the NFL than an environment like that,” Thompson said. “It’s one of the coolest places I have ever been. … It’s such a football town. It felt like home right away.”
Thompson said there were more than 200 applicants for the job. Waiting to hear back from the Packers, since it was around the time of the NFL Draft, made her feel like former North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz or Fargo Shanley graduate Connor McGovern waiting to get the call f
rom an NFL team.
Thompson got her call last week from the Packers.
“I’ve been so excited and thankful ever since,” she said.
Thompson will graduate from MSUM with a double major in integrated advertising and public relations and broadcast journalism. She said the experience she gained working in the Dragons athletic department has been invaluable, especially being able to see the success of the many of the MSUM teams since she started working in athletics.
One moment that sticks out for Thompson is the night the Dragons played their first football game on the Scheels Field artificial turf at Alex Nemzek Stadium in September 2015.
She overheard a kid’s reaction to the festive evening.
“He was telling his mom ‘This was the best day of my life.’ ” Thompson said. “There have been so many little moments along the way. Having the opportunity to see those things first-hand … people and sports are so amazing.”
Published with permission from Eric Peterson and The Forum.