Checking In With the Interns
Freshman sprinter Ryan Clay

July 29, 2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - In April, the Purdue Athletics Department selected six student-athletes to serve as interns in various areas this summer, one each in communications, compliance, John Purdue Club, marketing/fan experience, ticket operations and the John R. Wooden Leadership Institute.

The first-year internship program, coordinated by academic support services advisor Laura Schnell, aims to provide student-athletes real-world experience working within a university athletics department and help them in their desired career paths. They will be working 150 hours between May and August and will be paid $1,500 for their service.

Freshman sprinter/hurdler Ryan Clay, an engineering major, took a little time away from his workouts and his internship with the ticketing operations office to update on how everything is going.

How has the job been going?

This first month has been going really well. I have learned so much already and feel very comfortable with the everyday operations of the ticket office. I have been busy with the changes to the south end zone for football, the Fourth of July Beat the Heat promotion, and reviewing the handbooks for student workers in the ticket office.

What, if anything, have you learned through the internship so far?

I have learned that there is so much more that goes on in the ticket office than what most people probably think. For example, finances and customer service are very important aspects of what goes on each day in the ticket office.

Do you have a new respect or understanding for what goes on behind the scenes in the department?

Yes. I have seen firsthand that the everyday operations of the ticket office have a huge effect on other areas of the athletic department. The ticket office works very closely with Marketing and Promotions, the John Purdue Club, and Communications, just to mention a few other departments. All of these departments must work well together for a positive athletic experience for athletes and fans.

What is your typical day like? How do you balance your new work schedule with your offseason workouts?

I start off each day with class (I am taking 5 credit hours). After class each day is when I go to work at the ticket office. Finally, after work is when I work out. (I am weight training and putting in mileage this summer.) I have found that sticking to a routine has helped me balance school, work, and training. For the most part, I stick to the same schedule every day as far as when I work out and do my homework.

Has your internship changed your career plans or made it clearer to you what you might want to do?

This internship has not directly changed my career plans; however, I know that this experience will be valuable in whatever career I choose.




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