Sport & Event Management students share stories, advice at internship forum
The Sport & Event Management Department hosted its annual fall internship forum, highlighting its students’ summer achievements and memorable internship experiences.
The insight and advice came fast and furious during the reimagined Sport & Event Management Internship Forum held Sept. 26 in Moseley Center’s Lakeside rooms.
With more than 150 students in attendance, sport and event management majors highlighted their summer achievements and memorable internship experiences during the two-hour program. While it is an annual event, the forum took on a new look this year, featuring a series of Ignite presentations and breakout panels, a roundtable discussion and a brief keynote address – via Skype – from Elon University alumnus Kelsey Harris ’14.
A psychology and sport and event management double major at Elon, Harris kicked off the programming with an overview of her internship experiences as a student as well as her post-graduate opportunities, including her current internship position with the NCAA. Her responsibilities include working within the Championships and Alliances Department and assisting with the planning and programming of the 2017 Women’s Final Four in Dallas, Texas. “It is essentially a huge group project,” Harris noted.
She urged her fellow SEM majors to “be flexible and open to new experiences,” mentioning the benefits of her internship with the New York Red Bulls as well as her time in Limerick, Ireland, as part of the Sport Changes Life Program.
Harris added that time management skills are imperative in the professional world, explaining, “you need to learn how to manage yourself.”
Following Harris’ address, the forum transitioned to the experiences of current students. This past summer, 51 SEM majors completed their required for-credit internships with positions in several prominent organizations, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Kansas City Royals, Madison Square Garden, USA Baseball, IMG, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Octagon sports and entertainment agency.
To see photos of the internship forum, visit the School of Communications’ Flickr page.
Assistant Professor Cara McFadden and Mark Cryan created this year’s new format to accommodate a growing number of internships and add new energy and variety to the event.
“The students seemed to really enjoy the new format,” McFadden said. “Using a variety of presentation styles kept the students engaged throughout the program, and Kelsey did a great job inspiring current students to get involved and giving seniors a glimpse into their post-Elon opportunities.”
Among those to share Ignite presentations – brief, two-minute talks – was Logan Quackenbush ’17, a sport and event management major who discussed his ticket sales and services internship with the New York Mets.
Quackenbush made the most of his time in Queens, noting that he was one of just six individuals selected for the Mets internship program, which had an applicant pool of more than 1,000.
The senior broke his experience down into three “semesters,” which focused on game-day operations, sales and professional development, respectively. From each section, Quackenbush included highlights such as helping coordinate the U.S. Navy Parachute Team’s jump into Citi Field on Memorial Day, as well as the 399 sales calls he made during eight sales call “blitzes.”
“This internship was an absolutely amazing experience,” Quackensbush said. “The mentorship I got while I was there, and everything I learned, has really prepared me for my career in sports sales. I could not have asked for a better experience.”
Following Quackenbush was Kelly Siewers ’17, who spent the summer working for The Barclays, a PGA tournament that attracts the top 125 golfers in the world. She explained how she helped lead the tournament’s volunteer program, which included nearly 1,600 individuals, its Pro-Am event, a youth clinic and a food drive.
Considering the amount of time she spent planning and coordinating events, Siewers emphasized the importance of clear communication.
“My main takeaways from this summer were how to communicate more effectively on the phone and over email, how to use different sales techniques, that working hard really does pay off … and that preparation is key no matter how big or small an event is,” she said.
As for internship advice, Siewers recommended that her fellow SEM majors remain adaptable, flexible and willing to take on any challenge. The experiences and knowledge will pay off.
“There were some very long hours,” said Siewers, noting that during the two weeks leading up to her PGA tournament she worked 180-plus hours. “But my internship was so rewarding as well. It really didn’t feel like work.”