Dream Internship: My Olympic Road—Part 1

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

Dream Internship: My Olympic Road—Part 1

This is a blog by Mary Mooshian, our Quinnipac University Campus Ambassador. Follow her on her path to her dream internship!

When you’re little, everyone has a dream career.  I know for me I bounced around between being Britney Spears and a lawyer/architect for about the first 15 years of my life.  My story starts 4 years ago almost to the day.  I was watching Michael Phelps win his 5th gold at the Beijing Olympics.  That’s when my dream job hit me square in the face.  I saw the pure electricity the stadium had.  At the time, there was a lot of unrest in the country of Georgia and protesting, but everyone, regardless of the country they represented, unified and found peace for 12 days in seeing something nearly impossible happening right in front of their eyes.  It was the Olympic spirit.

Now, I’m no world class athlete.  I knew there was only one way to feel that spirit and it would be to work right in the middle of it.  So here I am, 20 years old, doing everything within my power to make my dream internship in Sports Event Marketing my reality by next summer.  I’ve weighed the impact of nearly every scholastic decision I’ve ever made against how it will help me be the best candidate possible for landing a Marketing internship at one of the most competitive places in the country—the US Olympic Committee.

Every month I’ll be updating you on my progress with the internship process and giving you tips and tricks for landing your own dream internship.  So here are some tips that I’ve gathered so far:

  1. Never be afraid to make a new contact: I met a speaker at my school almost two years ago now that works heavily in Sports Marketing.  I was a scared little first semester freshman when I met him.  I stood at the back of the line of people talking to him waiting until I had his undivided attention and I went over and introduced myself.  We chatted quite a bit leading up to the Vancouver Olympics and fell out of touch for a year, but now we’ve reconnected and he’s working with me to make contact with someone in the USOC.
  2. Always save a business card:  The gentleman I met two years ago gave me his card and I have it sitting with about a dozen more in my stationary box.  Yes, without it I could have still found his contact information, but having it reminded me of him, and our interaction, specifically.  Definitely jot a quick note on the back of a business card with any important contact info—where you met, what you discussed, a mutual contact, etc.
  3. Call—DON’T EMAIL:  I’ve been contacting a lot of very distant connections with the hope of getting my foot a bit further into that door.  Often times, an important individual in the field you are trying to get into is looking to see how badly you want it.  Do not email—Call.  Yes, it is really nerve-wracking, but it’s absolutely worth it.  Too much is done electronically now.  Calling shows a lot more initiative than someone sending out a bland, lifeless e-mail.  Keep in mind that no one is going to hang up on you when you call, but they are more apt to just delete an email.  IMPORTANT—if you are leaving a voicemail, tell the person you’re contacting that YOU will call them back, not the other way around.  You’re the one who needs help.  If you go the extra mile to get in touch with them, they just might go the extra mile to help you.

If you don’t have a dream internship in mind, it’s completely fine!  Internships are learning experiences meant to teach you what you want out of a future career.  Think about an internship in a field you never thought of—you could surprise yourself.