Kendall Kazor is a junior on the UGA Volleyball team. She is majoring in Marketing with a minor in Studio Arts. Kendall had the opportunity to participate in an internship with the Northeast Georgia branch of the United Way in the summer of 2016.
For a student pursuing a career in business, internships are key in order to gain experience, build a resume, and to figure out whether or not you’re on the right career path. As a student-athlete, I was at first under the impression that interning would not be a possibility, especially given that the volleyball team trains in Athens both June and July. However, I later found that this is not the case. I discovered there is a plethora of amazing opportunities just in Athens to take advantage of, with companies eager to have student-athletes on staff.
After college, I plan to use my marketing major and graphic design minor to be a marketing consultant for benefit and non-profit corporations. This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to work with the Northeast Georgia branch of the United Way, a worldwide nonprofit organization. Through this opportunity, I was able to witness and be a part of the transformation of the organization towards a new business model, a merger with Community Connections, and a total rebranding and marketing campaign. Not only did I learn a lot and gain insight on how I want to pave my career path, but the company was also very understanding and flexible with my training and academic obligations.
I’m not saying balancing athletics, academics, and the internship was easy, because it wasn’t. There were definitely times where my schoolwork would pile up because I was investing most of my time interning, training and working volleyball camps. In order to make more time for the internship, I decided to take most of my courses online, courses that included accounting 1 and 2 as well as microeconomics. Through my experience, I learned online classes, especially of this magnitude, are not for me, as the work will pile up if you are not diligent. As challenging as it was keeping up with my assignments, the knowledge, connections and experience I walked away with made it all worthwhile.
Even though last summer may have been the busiest summer of my life, I highly encourage all student-athletes to take advantage of internships. Even if you are required to train in Athens for June and July, working as an intern is plausible, but I recommend being realistic with yourself on the load that you can handle. I was overambitious last summer and put too much on my plate, but I will not repeat my mistakes this upcoming summer. Instead, I plan to take advantage of the marketing internship course, which is a 6-hour credit course where you journal and reflect on your internship, in addition to a directed study for my graphic design minor, which is a self-designed independent study course under the advisement of a professor. Courses like these can be found in most majors and allow flexibility to devote oneself fully to both training and interning.
If you are not sure if you are on the right path with your major, feel like you need more experience to build your resume, or want to build connections in your field of study, apply for an internship next summer! Interning teaches you invaluable skills and knowledge that no professor or book can. Push your limits and intern next summer because you will not regret it, just make sure you don’t overbook your schedule like I did.