Karina Padilla

Student Internship Spotlight: Katie Wight

Name: Katie Wight
Year: Senior
Major: Honors Business Administration, concentration in Sports Business
Internship: Business Operations Intern, Atlanta Dream, Atlanta, Georgia
Internship Dates: Summer 2015

Katie Wight is a senior sports marketing student in the Lundquist College of Business. After graduation, she plans to work in the sports business industry. She and other interns at the Atlanta Dream had a well-rounded experience and learned more about the ins and outs of the sports business industry. Learn more about her internship experience, her suggestions for a job search, and advice for other students.

The above photo was after the Dream Pink game at a live auction, the proceeds of which were donated to breast cancer awareness and research. Katie Wight is seated next to Laurel Richie, who was president of the Womens National Basketball Association at the time of the photo. Richie stepped down from her position last fall.

What was the structure of your Atlanta Dream internship program?

The internship was structured differently for each intern depending on their availability. Some were with the Dream for the entire season (May – September), while others were there for the part of the season when they weren’t in school. This flexibility was great for someone on the quarter system because it allowed me to start in June and then work until the end of August.

The Atlanta Dream has several departments, each of which had interns working for them. Each intern reported directly to the manager of that department. However, because the WNBA is still a relatively small professional league, the staff is very integrated. As a result, while a majority of projects were under a single department manager, it was still necessary to work with every department. This integration was invaluable experience in working with others on projects and also making connections with more people in the sports industry.

Describe your internship role and responsibilities.

Initially, I applied to be a corporate partnership intern, but after a week, I met with the General Manager and was moved to be an intern for the executive team, which included the GM, the COO, and the Manager of Finance. Because of the change, I became involved in a project with nearly every department, but I was specifically under Business Operations.

While in this role, I had myriad responsibilities and was often treated as an employee and was relied upon to complete necessary tasks to prepare for games and events. I worked in ticket sales, business operations, marketing, merchandise, finance, corporate partnerships, and gameday operations, and had separate smaller tasks in each of these departments. Overall, I had four primary consistent responsibilities throughout the entire internship.

First, because I was working for a WNBA team, I had gameday responsibilities. I was at every home game and either helped corporate partnerships, marketing, or the executive team with their gameday responsibilities.

At the office, my main project throughout the summer involved helping create, maintain, and build an inventory management system on Microsoft Excel. This involved tracking merchandise, sales, and cost of goods sold, among other things. Each week, I had to make sure that this was up to date and to build in any additional components required. I also completed a weekly reconciliation to ensure we had recorded inventory and sales correctly. I was then able to calculate weekly revenue and profit. The first half of my internship was largely spent helping to develop the inventory tracking model, while the second half included two other main projects in addition to keeping up with inventory and sales numbers.

The other two projects that I spent significant time on were gameday checklists for each department and the corporate partnership newsletter. For each game there were a lot of small tasks that each department had to complete, so I compiled a list of these tasks so each department knew what it had to finish before the next game. I also designed the monthly corporate partnership newsletter that was sent out to all corporate partners of the Atlanta Dream.

Because changes are constantly occurring in professional sports, I had to be ready to take on any task that was assigned. Often, trades were announced before a game or we had to completely change the plan for a game, so I just had to be flexible and ready to take on any task that was assigned.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

I am passionate about women’s basketball and my dream is to work in the WNBA and hopefully one day work for the league headquarters. I have always been a fan and student of the sport, so I loved being behind the scenes of the WNBA. I was able to learn about the business behind the league and the sport itself. It inspired me to continue to pursue a career on the business side of the WNBA and also inspired to me think of ideas about how the WNBA can improve and expand in order to increase the awareness and support for women’s basketball.

Furthermore, I really enjoyed working in a variety of different departments and roles because it gave me a better idea of what I want to do after I graduate. I also really enjoyed working with all the staff at the Dream as well as the players. As someone who has always followed the sport, it was amazing to be able to meet some of my favorite WNBA players as well as the WNBA President at the time, Laurel Richie.

What was challenging about your internship?

The biggest challenge about my internship was the pace and expectations. The interns were definitely expected to complete tasks and assignments that often had a direct impact on the team. Thus, interns were held to a high standard. Also, because the team was in the middle of its season, the work environment was fast paced, especially close to gamedays. Often changes had to be made or new information arose at the last minute and interns had to be flexible and ready to complete any task. This definitely held everyone to a high standard, but through this structure I learned so much and was required to develop creative solutions and greater problem solving skills. Even though I was incredibly busy, I loved working for the Dream and had an incredible experience in Atlanta.

What were some strategies you used used to get and prepare for the internship?

Make sure to get involved in campus groups you’re interested in and make connections with students, faculty, alumni, and companies. Your network is vital in helping you find an internship that you will enjoy and that will help you gain experience. If there’s an industry or company that you want to work for, see if someone who works there is an Oregon alumnus and reach out to do an informational interview with them. Many alumni are more than willing to help students and might be able to help you refine your resume or interview skills. In addition, you will learn more about the company or industry from an employee’s perspective. I learned so much from the informational interviews I completed and made incredible, long-lasting connections that helped me find my internship with the Atlanta Dream.

In regards to preparing for the internship, I would definitely recommend refining your Excel skills. I worked with Excel and spreadsheets throughout my entire internship and having a background was incredibly useful. Furthermore, go into your internship with an open mind and be willing to work hard and learn from your experiences. You might not be interning at your top choice, but you can still learn a great deal and make life long connections during an internship. Also, be prepared to be put in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. This experience is new and there will be times that you are unfamiliar with what you have to do. Come up with creative solutions, problem solve, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification.

What advice do you have for other students?

Follow your passion and apply for internships in industries in which you want to work, but also don’t forget to apply for other internships. It’s important to follow your dreams and apply for an internship with your dream company, such as the WNBA for me, but also know that other internships can be just as valuable and can lead you to your dream career. Your internship is a time to learn, grow, and challenge yourself, so just make sure to take advantage of every opportunity and moment.

This Student Spotlight blog post was conducted as a Q&A written interview with Katie Wight.

Written by Karina Padilla

Karina is a senior from Oregon pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration in General Business. She plans to purse a career working in the banking industry.

Student Internship Spotlight: Kevin Loder

Name: Kevin Loder
Year: Senior
Major: Journalism Major – Public Relations
Internship: Gilman Scholar Internship with Rio EnCantos Tours in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Internship Dates: July-October 2015

Kevin Loder is a senior public relations student at the University of Oregon. He was awarded a Gilman International scholarship to complete an internship with Rio EnCantos, a tour agency, this past summer. After graduation, his career aspiration is to work in a leadership position in higher education. He currently serves as the Chapter President of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and as Club President of the UO Social Media Club.

What was the structure of your internship

I met with my supervisor, Kelly Tavares, the owner of Rio EnCantos Tours, around 15-20 hours a week. On my own time I would research, monitor social media, work on presentations, etc. I also got to take pictures on tours and help create a new one for the Olympics. I was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for 10 weeks and earned 12 credits.

What are the steps you took to get your internship?

I was excited when I found this internship and that the supervisor, Kelly Tavares, is a UO graduate. I found the internship through IE3 Global. I met with a representative on campus to make plans to go. I decided because it was an unpaid internship that I would only go during the summer if I was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Not only did I receive this scholarship, but also one from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars honor society.

Describe your internship role and responsibilities.

I was a marketing and public relations intern. All of my projects involved communication both online and in person. The three major tasks that I accomplished were social media management with Hootsuite, coordinated an article with The Rio Times, and created a presentation tour for students at the 2016 Rio Olympic venues.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

Rio is all about the view, and every day I was amazed by the new things that I saw. It is incredible to experience a culture so far away from home. This was the biggest adventure of my life and I loved it.

What was challenging about your internship?

Learning new software and programs. I learned how to use Hootsuite Pro, Mail Chimp, Microsoft Sway, Google Analytics and AdWords. I watched tutorial videos on Lynda.com. These are valuable tools that I apply in my classes and internship.

Why would you recommend your internship to other students?

There are three reasons I would recommend this internship. First, it is abroad. I am the first in my family to go abroad, and I found that to be a valuable experience in adopting a global citizen mindset. Secondly, this opportunity gave me an experience working for a startup and small company. I found I was allowed more flexibility in my creativity to find solutions. The third reason is all the wonderful support I had, from UO, IE3 Global, the Gilman Scholarship Program, and my supervisor Kelly Tavares.

What were the stragies you used to get and prepare for the internship?

I encourage students to do an internship after they have completed some classes in their major. I felt prepared to contribute valuable work, and also prepared to learned new skills. Don’t wait to plan; I set goals for this internship two years in advance.

This Student Spotlight blog post was conducted as a Q&A written interview with Kevin Loder.

Written by Karina Padilla

Karina is a senior from Oregon pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration in General Business. She plans to purse a career working in the banking industry.

Student Internship Spotlight: Anna Karvina Pidong

Name: Anna Karvina Pidong
Year: Senior
Major: Accounting
Internship: Audit Intern, Deloitte in Portland, Oregon
Internship Dates: Summer 2015

Anna Karvina Pidong is a senior accounting student in the Lundquist College of Business. This past summer, she worked for Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms, in Portland. Below, she shares some of the details of her internship, what she learned from the experience, and some advice for prospective interns in the accounting world.

What was the structure of your Deloitte internship like?

My Deloitte internship was two months long with 40-hour weeks. The first two weeks were spent in training, at both the regional and national level. The remaining six weeks of the internship were spent with our assigned audit engagement teams. I was at a client site for one-to-two weeks at a time so I had a fair glimpse into the firms that Deloitte audits and what it was like to be working with an audit team.

Describe your internship role and responsibilities?

As an intern, your biggest role is to soak in what the internship experience has to offer, and to do it with a positive attitude. Each audit team will engage an intern differently. For example, in one engagement team, I helped with the planning process of an audit by simply updating the information on prior year forms to the current year forms. In another audit, I helped out with preliminary risk assessments by working on the income statement fluctuation analysis. This meant I had to compare prior quarter income statement accounts with the current quarter’s income statement and explain why those fluctuations occurred. Yikes! But at the end of the day, the biggest responsibility that I had was to ask questions, be a positive and enthusiastic learner, and to complete each task that I was given to the best of my abilities.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

Every intern class at Deloitte Portland puts together a video that we show to the whole office at the end of our two months there. It’s a pretty big deal. There were rumors that previous intern videos were never really good so our class was determined to make a high-quality video. We spent three weeks putting it together, from script-writing to acting to editing. We made a satire of Law & Order … and we called it Law & Order: Financial Victims Unit, SOX Edition (because the two main detectives were named Sarbanes and Oxley. Accounting jokes). There was no better feeling than having people crack up over our jokes. People at the office commented that it was one of the best intern videos they’ve ever seen. My intern class really bonded over this project and it just solidified the fact that folks at Deloitte work hard but play hard, too.

What was challenging about your internship?

The most challenging thing about the internship was probably getting over what I felt like was expected of me. I came in nervous about whether I was competent enough to even be there. What if I asked a stupid question? What if I didn’t know how to do an assignment? What would they think of me? But I eventually learned that when you are an accounting intern, you are not expected to know everything. My audit team was there to help me with my bajillion questions and they were happy to do it! Learning to ask for help, even in small things, and not be ashamed of it was one of the biggest lessons I learned this summer.

What advice do you have for other students?

Don’t take your accounting classes for granted. What you learn in financial accounting, tax and audit will actually show up in your accounting career some day. Public accounting firms want to see that you are taking your technical skills seriously. There were several times this summer that I wish I had paid more attention in class because we were doing work related to PP&E valuations and investments accounting.

And I would also say, take time to get to know the culture of the different accounting firms that you are interested in. Don’t simply label a firm based on what you hear about them. Talk to the recruiter and go to networking events. The connections you build really make a difference before, during, and after your internship. Good luck!

This Student Spotlight blog post was conducted as a Q&A written interview with Anna Karvina Pidong.

Written by Karina Padilla

Karina is a senior from Oregon pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration in General Business. She plans to purse a career working in the banking industry.