PRSSA Kent State University
Interning at Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors
by Candace Dungan
I have never been someone to play by the book. After high school, I had no intentions to attend college. Instead, I planned to move to Colorado and become a professional snowboard instructor. My life was turned upside down the summer after high-school graduation when I became pregnant with my now beautiful, 3-year-old daughter, Mona. Four years later, I am officially the new Member Services and Marketing Coordinator at PSIA-AASI, The Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors in Lakewood, Colorado.
Throughout the process of landing my internship at PSIA-AASI, the best advice I could give to any student is to create your own path. I was PSIA-AASI’s first intern and landed the job through networking. When I was offered my full-time position, my supervisor explained that it was my confidence and forwardness that impressed her the most.
Each class I completed at Kent State University put me one step closer to my goals, but I believe my PR Campaigns class was the most helpful in providing me with the knowledge to contribute to PSIA-AASI. Creating a campaign for FedEx Custom Critical gave me both confidence and understanding of internal organizations, which was the most helpful during my internship.
I also took it upon myself to go above and beyond my duties as marketing intern. I often found myself repeating one of my Kent State professors who taught me the phrase, “I can do that.” Early on in my internship I noticed that many employees had large workloads, and I did my best to offer help in anyway I could. Besides my marketing responsibilities, I found myself working with both the financial and education departments. Soon, my co-workers we’re asking how they we’re going to get by without me, and I believe I became indispensable.
But, my internship was not always smooth sailing. I didn’t know how or when I should communicate with my co-workers and supervisors. I found it was okay to ask how and when to communicate. In fact, your co-workers and supervisor will appreciate it because it will save them time when they receive information from you in the way that works best for them.
During my internship my large tasks included creating a media list and style guide as well as contributing to online content. I also helped organize and communicate our member benefits, which is not an easy task at an association that offers as many benefits and educational resources as PSIA-AASI.
My new position will require me to take the lead on media relations and the on-boarding process of new members. I also will work closely with our Partner Specialist to best serve our partners, such as Burton, Subaru and Go Pro.
Four years ago I planned to be a professional snowboard instructor. I now work for the organization that makes professional skiing and snowboarding possible. Without the skills I learned in Kent State’s PR program and the mentoring I received from my professors, I could never have accomplished my goals and found myself exactly where I want to be.