July 28, 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 middle blocker KiKi Jones, a movement and sport sciences major, took a little time away from her workouts, classes and her internship in the compliance office to update purduesports.com on how everything is going.
How has the job been going?
My first month on the job has been great. I really enjoy the atmosphere and all the people that I get to interact with on a daily basis. I was excitedly nervous to start my first office job but, Tom and Becca, who I work with, have been making it a great learning experience in the office.
What, if anything, have you learned through the internship so far?
Working in compliance has been a great way to broaden my understanding of the athletic department. I can understand why certain areas of the athletic department or teams operate the way that they do and what areas interest me. Adobe Photoshop has become my best friend while in the office. I have gone from a novice to an adequate fast user. I've enjoyed learning how to use the program when I would not have gotten an opportunity to learn it on my own.
Do you have a new respect or understanding for what goes on behind the scenes in the department?
I have always had a lot of respect for the staff in the athletic department. I do have more respect for what they do on a daily basis because I did not know how much time and effort goes on behind the scenes. The staff goes above and beyond what people think to make sure that student-athletes and fans have a wonderful experience here at Purdue and I am very thankful to all of them.
What is your typical day like? How do you balance your new work schedule with your offseason workouts?
My typical day is waking up early around 7:15 a.m. to make it to workouts that go from 8:05 a.m. until around 10 or 10:30am. I then rush to shower and get ready to go to my class that is across campus that is 11 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. I then make sure I am dressed appropriately for work and I report to Mollenkopf and work for the next four hours. Tom (Mitchell) has been very gracious to allow me to come in at a general time since class ends at an awkward part of the day, so I can make sure I eat lunch. During my work hours I spend my time on one of my projects that Tom and I have discussed. My favorite and main project has been the Boiler reminders that he will be using through the year to help student-athletes, coaches, fans, and boosters remember the rules and guidelines that the NCAA, Big Ten, and Purdue has set for all of us. I'll work on editing images of athletes, coaches, staff, and fans related to the subject to make a quick and engaging read for the viewer.
Has your internship changed your career plans or made it clearer to you what you might want to do?
This experience has helped me shape what I would like to do as a career later in life. It has made me want to definitely go to graduate school and work in an athletic department so that I can gain more experience in the field. I do not know for sure what area is going to be best for me yet, but Tom and other members of the Purdue staff have been very helpful in answering questions and showing me what athletic departments have to offer.