Learning How to be a Professional in Sport
Over the summer, Sport Management major Ryan Ferland interned at the North Carolina Football Club where he was an Operations Intern. This internship allowed him to gain professional skills that will advance his career going forward.
I did my internship with North Carolina Football Club in Cary, NC. I was an Operations Intern which meant that I was responsible for preparing the stadium for professional men’s and women’s soccer games of up to 10,000 fans. I spent the first couple days of each week in the office helping my boss directly and then would go to the stadium by myself Thursdays and Fridays getting everything ready for Saturday games. This was a really nice opportunity for me because I got experience in a professional office environment as well as having the opportunity to gain the trust of my superiors and get things done on my own without supervision.
I learned that by being charismatic, enthusiastic, and hard-working I could be successful in any environment. I engaged with my superiors at the club and sought out ways to help them. This helped me network with people that I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to. I also did my best to do as good a job as possible when helping somebody else because that is the best way to prove yourself as someone who is reliable and trustworthy. Doing a good job is important, but I would argue that it is even more important that the people you work for and work with think you are capable of doing good work in a timely manner. My internship allowed me to network with a lot of excellent people that work in the field I hope to work in upon graduation.
One area in which I grew as a result of my internship was in confidence in my decision making. I was the person in charge of game day operations staff. This meant that I had to delegate tasks to groups of people and do this effectively enough that everything would be set up in time on game days. I had several opportunities to make decisions on my own that impacted the operations of the day. Learning to make the correct decisions at the right times immensely improved my confidence in my decision-making skills as a whole. This proved important later in the season when I ran into a scenario that dealt with workplace ethics. I learned a lot from my internship about myself and what makes both a good intern and employee.
I learned that I usually make good decisions in the workplace and I now know that I can trust my decisions and be confident in them. I learned that by working hard, engaging others, and having the initiative to find opportunities in the workplace, I will create networking opportunities for myself that will (hopefully!) help to advance my career moving forward.