BIDDEFORD — Andrea Gosper is going to need some new clothes when she begins her internship over the summer. A lifelong New England Patriots fan, Gosper has accepted a paid internship with the Buffalo Bills that begins in July, just before training camp opens.

“I’m not going to be able to bring half my wardrobe,” said Gosper, a senior softball player at the University of New England.

Gosper, 21, will work in the Bills’ scouting department, with the opportunity to earn a full-time job with New England’s AFC East rivals. She received the internship after attending the NFL Women’s Careers in Football Forum in Indianapolis in late February.

University of New England senior Andrea Gosper has accepted an internship to work in the scouting department of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Staff photo by Gregory Rec

Gosper, who was an intern on the UNE football coaching staff in its first varsity season last fall, met with Buffalo General Manager Brandon Beane and assistant general manager Joe Schoen immediately after the forum. About a month later, while she was playing outfield in a game for the Nor’easters, she got a call offering her the position.

Female employees are rare in the NFL but that may be changing because of the forum, which was offered for the third time. The first two resulted in nine NFL clubs hiring women for positions in their scouting, coaching or football operations departments. In addition, Callie Brownson, who attended the first two forums, was hired by Dartmouth College as the nation’s first full-time female assistant football coach.

Schoen said it was obvious very early in their conversation that Gosper had what it takes to work in the NFL.

“It’s her energy and excitement,” he said. “Just being around her, you see a very upbeat personality and her passion for football. She helped coach there last fall, and for her to be part of something they’re starting there, it’s kind of like what we’re doing here – we’re trying to build something here.

“She already has a foundation with football, from being with the team, and along with her passion and attitude, we felt she’ll be be a good fit in our program.”

Gosper will report July 22 to the Bills, go to training camp at St. John’s Fisher College in Rochester, New York, and stay with them until May 15, 2020. That means she’ll be part of the preparation for the 2020 draft.

Gosper is not the only female to earn an internship with the Bills this year. According to Samantha Rapoport, the NFL’s senior director of football development, Buffalo hired four women who attended the forum in February. “The Bills’ leadership has been at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. … Their track record with this program speaks volumes about their commitment and paves the way for important progress in this space,” she said.

Schoen said the Bills value diversity in their organization. Maybe that isn’t surprising because Kim Pegula, one of the team’s principal owners along with her husband, Terry Pegula, serves as president of not only the Bills but the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. “We all look up to her and see what she does,” said Schoen. “So diversity is important to us. But first and foremost, the candidates have to be qualified for the job.”

Gosper will have multiple responsibilities starting with training camp. Schoen said she’ll be involved in evaluating college and pro players, one of her tasks compiling a video cut-up of players. “She’s going to get exposure to every position on the field, so she’ll get to learn about what we want in each position,” said Schoen. “She’ll be involved in airport runs, workouts, and she may have duties at practice. She’s going to be very important to our operations.”

The video cut-ups – which Gosper did at UNE – are vital evaluation tools. “We may have 10 receivers that we’re interested in,” said Schoen. “We’ll ask her to make a cut-up of those 10 versus press coverage or those 10 in contested situations, or for whatever various reasons we’ll need.”

Asked if this internship could lead to a permanent position for Gosper, Schoen said, “Absolutely. It’s hard to get an opportunity in an NFL building. She’s earned the right to do it. If she works hard, that’s always a possibility. We like to promote from within.”

Gosper, who grew up in the small village of Wyoming, Rhode Island, has dreamed of working with elite athletes. A nutrition major at UNE, she already had been accepted into graduate school at Logan University, a small school in Missouri focused on health sciences.

But she worked it so that she can take classes on-line while still working with the Bills. “I set it up so that school wouldn’t be the reason I said ‘no’ to an internship,” she said. “I think they were impressed with that. So I’ll be doing both at the same time.”

Gosper admits that scouting wasn’t something she thought she would do. “Now that I’m into it,” she said, “I can see myself in scouting and feel I can succeed in wherever I’m put.”

And she’s grateful to UNE Coach Mike Lichten for the opportunity he gave her last fall. Her duties for the Nor’easters included running the offensive scout team in practice, breaking down practice and game video, and helping with recruiting.

“Being here exposed me to a lot of areas of football and that really helped me,” she said. “That has led me to being able to open many doors.”

Gosper was one of the 40 women invited to the forum. While there she met other women who already held jobs in football organizations, with general managers and coaches, and attended sessions that broke down specific jobs within organizations. “I interacted with people you would never think you would have the opportunity to shake hands with,” she said. “When I went there I thought, ‘I can definitely see myself doing this.’ It was nice.”

When she interviewed with the Bills, she didn’t hide her allegiance to the Patriots. “They asked me who I followed growing up,” she said. “I told them and they kind of gave me a look. But they knew I was from New England and assumed I was a Patriots fan.”

So what happens when the Patriots play the Bills this year? “I don’t know,” said Gosper. “I’ll probably be doing my job somewhere.”