By: Samantha Ross
Everyone needs an internship to graduate. Some people struggle to find one they're passionate about and take the first one they find because it was the only thing they found. Unfortunately, finding an internship isn’t always easy, but don’t think that you always have to find one you're passionate about online.
Recently, I was looking for an internship in an athletic department at a university. I knew I wanted to gain experience in the sport PR world and, when I couldn’t find anything online, I started reaching out to athletic departments around Kent to see if they offered any internships. I finally heard back from Cleveland State University (CSU) and in just a few months, I began interning there.
Going into my internship, I made sure to stay open to trying new things. I knew that I had a strong interest in working for an athletic department, so this was going to be my time to learn as much as I could. One of the first things I learned about was PrestoSports, an online hub that allows athletic departments to update their website. I used this website throughout my entire internship and, by the end, was comfortable using it on my own. On this website, I updated rosters, schedules, student-athletes’ bios and headshots. This was great for me to learn because many athletic departments across the country use this website or something similar. I was also able to practice and expand my InDesign skills, which is something I didn't have much experience in before.
One thing that I’ve noticed about myself during the internship is that I don’t want to sit at a desk all the time. Most days I was working at a desk, but there were other days that I spent at an athletic event, and that is what got me really excited about work. I had the opportunity to work many different sporting events such as wrestling, volleyball, soccer and basketball. Even though I was there for work, it didn’t feel like it because I enjoyed it so much.
It is important to try to find an internship that you love because you don’t want to wake up every morning wishing you didn’t have to go. I don’t think there was ever a day that I didn’t want to go to my internship. If you are struggling to find an internship that interests you, start thinking about companies that you are interested in and reach out to them. Doing this will let people know that you are interested in interning for them and they will most likely remember your name just because you reached out. I think the most important thing I’ve learned from my internship at CSU was to always be willing to learn new things. Even when I didn’t know how to do something, I would still try it and if I had questions, I would ask. Take every opportunity that you are offered. Your supervisors want to see you succeed, not fail.
Although at first I didn’t want to do another internship because it was in Cleveland and unpaid, I’m so happy I had this opportunity because I was able to gain so much valuable information. In the end, this internship made me realize that I do really want to work in the athletic department at a university. I did so many things during my time at CSU that I didn’t even touch on, so if you’re interested in sports and want to talk, feel free to reach out!
Connect with Samantha Ross, VP of Fundraising via email.