July 22, 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.
Senior tight end Charles Torwudzo, a Selling & Sales Management major, took a little time away from his workouts and his internship with the John Purdue Club to update purduesports.com on how everything is going.
How has the first month on the job been going?
The first month on the job has been outstanding. Being able to interact with everyone in the John Purdue Club & Varsity P Club, including the donors, has been awesome. Getting to see the back end of what really goes into the fundraising is great too. Having the opportunity to go on different Coaches' Caravans and JPC events has allowed me to see what type of work really goes into planning everything on a daily basis in order to provide funding for fellow student athletes like myself. When the John Purdue Club says that they're the Team Behind the Teams, that is the real deal.
What, if anything, have you learned through the internship so far?
I have learned about a million different things throughout this first month on the job alone. A couple areas specifically that I have learned or improved on are; networking, public speaking, and time management skills. Going to different cities and JPC events has allowed me the chance to come across a wide variety of people. Interacting with and engaging with these individuals makes for a prime opportunity to be able network and connect with other people that love Purdue University. When it comes to public speaking, JPC has allowed me the chance not only to listen to some great speakers, but to be able to speak even more confidently to large groups of people. Finally, time management. Being enrolled in 10 credit hours during the summer months is hard as it is, but adding football and then even a job on top of that has proven to be a tough task. Pushing myself to the limits in all areas really lets me know how much I am capable of, and I can feel myself growing into a more well-rounded person.
Do you have a new respect or understanding for what goes on behind the scenes in the department?
I absolutely have a new found respect for all the efforts that take place behind the scenes. This has been a very beneficial experience thus far and I look forward to the next couple weeks. Although I'd say that some already know, it would be nice if my fellow student-athletes could be able to see how much this department truly cares and the lengths they go in order for us to have a great college experience and career.
What is your typical day like? How you balance your new work schedule with your offseason workouts?
If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that there isn't really a 'typical' day with the John Purdue Club. One day I could be meeting with compliance or communications, the next day sending emails and writing thank you letters all day, and the day after that being in Chicago with Coach Hazell, Coach Painter, and Morgan Burke networking and talking to JPC donors at a caravan. It's really like a box of chocolates. As I mentioned before, it's not exactly easy to balance with our workouts, but JPC is really good about being flexible and working with me as far as that is concerned.
Has your internship changed your career plans or made it clearer to you what you might want to do?
This Internship has really opened my eyes in regards to a career after football. Between the John Purdue Club , and the University of Texas Longhorn Foundation, The University of Texas fundraising arm that I had the opportunity to shadow because of this Internship with JPC, I have really been intrigued by the development side of college athletics. As a student-athlete, you never truly know what goes into paying for your scholarship until you see the development side of things. I really enjoy the field, and could see myself pursuing a development position when my football career is over.