Anyone who has met Ryan Foster has probably thought two things: “He’s very tall,” and “Wow, this guy knows A LOT about sports.”
It’s been about four months since Ryan started working with his Employment Consultant at CIP, Emily Lavalier, but Ryan is no spring chicken when it comes to employment. Throughout high school, he has held many jobs, and currently holds two jobs: working the fryers at DQ Grill and Chill in Bloomington, and drying cars at Mister Shine Carwash in Edina. Ryan has a strong work ethic, and works almost 40 hours a week between his two jobs.
Mister Shine is located right near the MN Vikings practice field in Eden Prairie, and the players pull through the carwash regularly. Ryan is able to recognize every player in plain clothes, and could tell you which round each player was drafted in, how many games each player has won, and how much each player is worth in Fantasy Football. He is a Minnesota Vikings fanatic.
While the job at Mister Shine pays the bills, and gives him a chance to rub elbows with the occasional Viking, it doesn’t quite capitalize on his passion for sports. So together, he and Emily are in the process of looking for something where Ryan’s penchant for stats, and love of the game will make him a valuable asset and an unstoppable force. Just ask Ryan what the best part of his job at Mister Shine is, and his response would immediately be, “getting to dry some of the Minnesota Vikings players cars.”
Working with Emily, Ryan has applied to work at most sporting-goods stores in the Mall of America, including the MN Vikings Locker Room where Emily and Ryan met Michael, the store manager, who suggested checking out temporary jobs with Maingate, Inc. Maingate, Inc. is the company that operates the MN Vikings Locker Room, based out of Indianapolis. Ryan applied online, interviewed, and landed a week-long job setting up the merchandise stands at the MN Vikings home field, the Mall of America Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
The week began with Ryan donning a yellow uniform shirt with the Vikings Logo on the front and STAFF prominently displayed on the back. With the car parked in the Players Lot at the back of the Dome, Ryan made his way through the loading dock, and entered into the Dome underneath the stands, bringing in boxes and boxes full of merchandise, including helmets with Vikings braids, “#1 Fan” purple foam hands, and more Vikings hats that Ryan had seen in one place other than Lids. Once all the merchandise was loaded in, Ryan began to unpack and check in the precious cargo. After setting up the stands and making sure they had everything they needed; Ryan worked alongside Aaron, the General Manager, for much of the week.
After the gear was all unloaded and set up, the only thing left was to clean out the trailers. This was Ryan’s area of expertise! Ryan cleaned the interior and exterior of the trailers, washed and dried the signs, and polished the rims on the wheels. “The trailers have never looked better, and they are fifteen years old!” Aaron said. While the experience at the Metrodome was temporary, Ryan is still part of the Maingate Inc. staff, and plans to load up on “employee discounted” Vikings gear this season. Ryan is back at the carwash now, and dons a different Vikings hat to each shift. He was able to land tickets to the first home pre-season game, and looks forward to cheering on the Purple and Gold through the season. As his employment search continues, Ryan feels confident that his experience with the MN Vikings set-up will help move him in the right direction, and so do we.