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Student-Athletes Reflect on Summer Internships

8/5/2014
 
Duhawks.com checked in with Loras College athletes who landed competitive and valuable summer internship positions all over the country. From Fresno State University to the Illinois Junior Golf Association, these student-athletes shared their experiences and how they believe these opportunities will impact their future.
 
Highlighted here are just two of our amazing student-athletes.  To read more reflections, visit duhawks.com.

SENIOR KAYLA BALKE, CROSS COUNTRY AND TRACK & FIELD | INTERN WITH THE DUBUQUE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

How did you learn about your internship opportunity?
KB: I learned abut my internship by networking with customers at Houlihan's, where I work during the school year. I became good friends with the Senior Vice President of the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, Barry Gentry. He offered me an interview with him and eventually offered me an internship for the summer. I knew from my public relations classes that the Dubuque Chamber was an amazing place to work and gain experience. 

What does your internship consist of?
KB: I work special events, write press releases and help Barry with whatever he needs. The best experience I've had so far was working the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce's Golf Outing. I had the opportunity to meet many business professionals from the Dubuque area and network with them. 

How will this internship help you in your future?
KB: The opportunity that I have been given this summer will help me in so many ways. First off, I'm able to ask questions and learn about this industry from people everyday. I'm receiving first hand experience on planning and managing events. This internship has been a life changing experience and I am very fortunate to Barry for allowing me to work for him. He's a connection that I hope to keep for the rest of my life.

How has your experience in the public relations program at Loras helped to prepare you for your internship?
KB: My coursework at Loras has given me a great love for communication with people and taught me to be confident in my encounters with others. Coming into this internship, I already had experience writing press releases, so the transition was smoother for me in the beginning.
 
SENIOR ANDREW WALTON, MEN’S SOCCER | INTERN WITH SPORTING KC of MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

How did you learn about your internship opportunity?
AW: I learned about my internship through Jacyln Tumberger ('14), a recent Loras graduate. She had interned with Sporting KC last summer and spoke very highly of her experiences with the organization. I was a big fan of the Wizards, the former MLS team in Kansas City, and it is exciting that I now have the opportunity to be a part of their redeveloped team. I definitely didn't think I'd be working for the club one day when I was having my 9th birthday party at the Wizards game.

What does your internship consist of?
AW: My internship mainly consists of work in the stadium operations department. I work around the stadium making sure that everything is organized properly for events or client groups. On game days, I take care of everything that needs to be set up for the game to run smoothly. After the setup is completed, I transition into on-call personnel to solve problems or attend to issues during the game. Sporting Park, the club's home stadium, is in its third year so it is very cool to work with some of the new technology in one of the newer stadiums in the league. I also help plan and organize sporting events around Kansas City such as the USA World Cup watch parties.

How will this internship help you in your future?
AW: This internship will really help me decide which direction I want to go within the sport industry. I have had some experience interning in college athletics and this has opened my eyes to the potential of working in professional sports. I've been able to experience first-hand what it is like to work in stadium operations for a professional team, which is experience that will be extremely valuable to me in the future when I am determining my career path after college. Additionally, working for a high profile team like Sporting KC has opened the door for many new connections into the sports industry that I didn't have before.

How has your experience in the sport management program helped to prepare you for your internship?
AW: There are countless ways which the sport management program has helped me with this internship. One of the things I have noticed has helped me the most is the emphasis on networking.  Being at a rather large sport organization I have made sure to meet as many people as I can and get to know more about what work they do. This has helped me to gain as much understanding of not only a very successful MLS team but a successful organization.


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