Inside the Internship: Virginia Athletics
April 6th, 2012
Devon Lynch spent the summer in Charlottesville, interning for U.Va.’s Athletic Department. A typical week included 10 hours in the office and 2-20 at live events. Devon credits this internship with broadening his career interests and honing his professional skills.
I have always been adventurous – maybe even a bit too adventurous – so when I had the opportunity to intern with Virginia’s Athletic Department, I jumped at the chance even before considering all the details. Thankfully, I ended up having a great time. However, as I did not know much about the job, I had to learn while doing. Although challenging at times, I ultimately benefited from the self-teaching nature of the internship. I accomplished things I would have never thought myself capable of.
My responsibilities as an intern spanned working in the office to running live events. The live events were especially gratifying, because I could watch all my in-office hours of preparation play out, throwing into sharp relief the wild successes as well as the failures. As a result, I learned to accept both the ownership of good ideas and the responsibility for poor ones. More importantly, I learned to move forward, embracing past failures as tools for future successes. For example, at one event, I forgot to bring supplies for an activity. I was the head of our staff – without anyone to cover for me – so I had to craft a solution using what supplies we had on hand. With a creative twist, I solved the problem. And for all following events, I made sure to take inventory with a checklist.
I guess I’d say I fell into this internship. I friend of mine had interned with the Athletic Department previously and recommended I consider the position. Actually, I’m not sure I would have chosen it for myself if picking from a list. But by moving outside of my comfort zone, interning for a position I might never have considered, I learned more about career avenues, as well as in what roles I excel. After such a positive experience, I’m more adventurous than ever, jumping at whatever opportunities come my way. But now I make sure to consider the details – just in case!
To find out more about about opportunities on Grounds, make a CAVLink account and search for part-time and internship opportunities. Third and Fourth Years are also eligible for the University Internship Program (UIP): http://www.coopercenter.org/uip. For more internship information, visit our internship page or read the first post in this series.