Week 7: Final Presentations

Today’s the day! After seven short weeks of hard work, our countless agendas, meetings, brainstorming and implementation would finally pay off for each of the four groups. On Monday, all 25 nervous and excited Bucks Go Pro interns gathered in the Longaberger Alumni house ready to present our group projects in front of the entire athletic department-even Gene Smith was in attendance. Starting on June 15, each of us was assigned to a group project to be used by the athletics department during the 2015-16 academic year. Our leaders gave us specific parameters to follow, but our final presentations were meant to serve as the culmination of our efforts. As I entered the auditorium, I took a moment to admire everyone’s business professional attire because if I do say so myself, we looked GOOD! Donning our suits, ties, dresses and heels instead of our usual athlete gear, we barely recognized each other since it appeared as if we’d just strolled out the doors of a Fortune 500 company.

IMG_7827Once all the interns arrived, Mitch Straub, associate director of development, welcomed us and explained an icebreaker called “Buy or Sell” we would do to get everyone loosened up and less nervous. We began this activity by dividing into four groups consisting of at least one member from each of the group projects. Then, Mitch handed each of us a flashcard with an object written on it and instructed us to develop a sales pitch to sell it to the entire group.  If we made our item appealing, the group would “buy” it but if we supplied weak reasons for purchasing our product, then it would be “sold.” Some of the products included a home gym, credit card, watch, blender, sunglasses, knives, water bottle and a whole other array of random items. Let me tell you, listening to every intern pitch their product was probably one of the most entertaining things I have ever witnessed. Yianni sold Beats by Yian, Andrew pushed his Urban Mower (Urban Meyer… haha get it?) and Katie marketed her parachuting trip she somehow mistook for hot air ballooning. By the end of the ice breaker, every intern was definitely in debt since every product was bought…our Bucks Go Pro credit cards Alexis sold were unquestionably maxed out! Can you say, “amazing entrepreneurial skills?” For some reason, presenting in front of people really stresses me out but once we did this icebreaker and I sold my scarf-“who doesn’t need one? Not only are they a fashion statement for both women and men making you the cat’s meow, but having one handy protects you from the brutal Ohio weather…one day its 80 degrees and the next, it’s 30!”, I felt so much better and ready to enjoy the presentation.



Since the clock was quickly approaching 11 a.m., the groups quickly ran through their presentations to practice transitions and make sure everything came together seamlessly when the real deal arrived. Each presentation had to be 10-15 minutes in length and needed to include the details of our project, the plans heading into the school year and the tasks we completed. My group, which planned Thank You Week, presented first, followed by the Buckeye Bash group, the Buckeyes Care/ Brutus’ 50th Birthday group and the Career Programming group. For more information on the final group projects click on the Group Projects tab above. When the top of the hour arrived, all the seats in the auditorium were filled by the athletics department staff and each of the groups began their presentations. Some of the highlights from the day were the Thank You Week group playing an incredible hype video, the Buckeyes Care group handing out cake pops that looked like buckeyes, Craig from the Buckeye Bash group calling out Gene Smith to be in the dunk tank again this year and Lamar modeling his business attire for the Career Programming group. Our presentations did run over a couple minutes from the planned one hour, but I believe the entire athletics department was so impressed by our work they didn’t mind at all!

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After the presentations concluded, all the interns let out a sigh of relief, then cheered so loud over having an amazing seven weeks with each other. Gene Smith complimented us on our professionalism and dedication to planning great initiatives for the athletics department to implement in the coming school year. We thanked everyone for giving us this amazing opportunity to grow not only as professionals, but as people too through the internship. Also, we shared our gratitude with them for working tirelessly year round to provide student-athletes with the best and making certain we’re always taken care of. Then, every one headed outside for a staff appreciation and networking lunch. Everyone was super excited over all the food trucks surrounding the Fawcett Center and made their rounds to every truck testing out all the food! There was pizza, Mexican food, hot dogs and grilled cheese! Needless to say, both staff and interns ended the day with full stomachs and smiles on their faces. I’m so unbelievably thankful to have shared the past seven weeks with these people. Not only have they taught me more about the professional world, but I have formed unbreakable friendships with them that will last a lifetime. This Wednesday is our last day together as a group, and I can’t even begin to explain how much this experience has taught me and how much I’ll miss it.


Week 6 Part 2: Going Corporate!

Alexis Degler, the development intern, was kind enough to lend her writing skills to the Bucks Go Pro blog for Wednesday’s field trip to Cardinal Health, since I’m currently competing in a four day swim meet and couldn’t attend the trip! Keep reading to hear Alexis’s take on Wednesday’s activities…

Hi everyone! My name is Alexis Degler, I’m the blonde head you see in a lot of the pictures and the Development Intern this summer. Cheyenne asked me to fill in for her for the day because, probably as I am typing this right now, she is swimming her personal best time and killing it in her swim meet. I was really excited when she asked me, I’ve never written a blog post before, but now that I am writing this, I am getting a little nervous.. so bear with me.

It all started a little earlier than normal. The BucksGoPro interns all showed up in front of the Fawcett Center at promptly 8 a.m. When we looked around, we realized half of our group was missing! Many of the BucksGoPro’s had competition conflicts so there were only 15 of us going on the tour. As we piled into the bus, we all could have had our own row but for some reason we decided to all scrunch together so that we were able to chat about who knows what. We’ve all become so close over the last six weeks so there really isn’t a quiet moment.


As we rolled up to the front of the Cardinal Health building, we quickly realized what it means to go corporate. This was not just a really tall building, it was like five really tall buildings all connected and there were even more across the street. This was a campus. When we walked inside, all of the interns were in awe. Everything was sleek and modern and I even heard Niki Miyashiro say “I feel like when I walk through the check-in gate I am going into a time machine sending us to the future.” It was a really impressive lobby.


Brooke Miller, a financial advisor for Cardinal Health, stayed with us all day on both of our tours and facilitated many of the presentations. She picked us up in the lobby and brought us to a conference room. Each spot at the table had a folder containing information, a pen and sticky notes, as we all are about to strategically choose our spot, you hear Alex Bayne, the SASSO intern gasp “FREE COFFEE!” Everyone turns around, wide-eyed, and heads straight to the table in the back containing Free Starbucks coffee, and an assortment of muffins, scones, and other pastries, and personalized name tags. I mean if the scones and coffee don’t convince you to work at Cardinal Health…I’m sure the personalized name tags will! We were all so impressed. We all returned to our seats and were officially ready to hear about the history of Cardinal Health as well as careers and programs offered.


It was hard not to be impressed by Cardinal’s history of acquisitions of companies. They kept listing off all the companies that are now under the Cardinal Health umbrella and all of the markets that they had expanded into and it was remarkable.


After we learned all about Cardinal Health we split in half and were taken on a tour of Cardinal’s campus. My group leader was Joe Valponi, an accounting advisor, and he showed us everything from the interactive room (that Olivia DiCarlantonio was fascinated with) to the workout gym, which Olivia DiCarlantonio was also fascinated with…


When we made it back to the conference room (and grabbed our second cup of coffee) we got to hear from 3 of the Cardinal employees in the Emerge Program. The Emerge program is a program that allows employees to get a better understanding of multiple roles within a company. They rotate every few months in order to gain relevant knowledge and skills that will help them be successful in their future career. We were lucky to hear from a recent Ohio State Cheerleader alumn, Nicole Douglas, and she along with her two coworkers, answered all of our tough questions.


After the panel, we gathered our stuff and headed back onto the bus. It was a long trip but everyone was enjoying each other’s company, or so we thought. Gordie Koerber, pointed out to the group that Jake Dastrup had fallen asleep. I guess it’s true when you hear that if an athlete is tired, they can sleep whenever or wherever they get the chance.


When we got to the National Logistics Center we were all a little skeptical at first, but when we walked down the stairs into the floor I think the first thing was said was “It looks just like Costco.” We split our groups up in half and coincidentally my group had all girls with absolutely no background knowledge about the logistics of a factory, let alone a factory for pharmaceuticals, and the questions started pouring out. We learned the ins and outs (literally the way that the pharmaceuticals get in and leave the factory) of the factory, met some of the employees picking orders and loading and unloading trucks, and found out that our tour guide, Jonathon Downes, the supervisor of warehouse operations, and his team won the Cardinal Health dodgeball tournament!! Needless to say, it was a very informational tour, and a great experience.


When we got back to the front, the other group was there waiting for us. I guess we asked too many questions? But we returned our safety vests and said our thank you’s and goodbyes and headed back to campus. It was kinda a weird feeling when we left the bus. It was our last time being together before the big presentation. Its definitely a bittersweet feeling as we have made so many great memories together this summer.


So that’s all I have for our Cardinal Tour visit! Thanks for bearing with me, Cheyenne will be back next week to talk about our group projects (wish us luck!!!!)


Alexis Degler

Week 6 Part 1: So You Want A Job?

So you want a job? I think I speak for all the interns when I say YES! Ever since I was young, I’ve feverously deliberated about my dream job. Maybe I was meant to be a police officer? Teacher? Famous singer? No, I realized I didn’t want to be a singer…that was just a Cheetah Girl’s phase. Then, I found my love for writing. My parents have a compilation of short stories I gave them as presents for holidays and birthdays when I was in elementary school: The Butterfly Girls, Spy Girls, The Big Buck and many more. In middle school, the most exciting project for me was when Mrs. Halsey, my sixth grade language arts’ teacher, assigned a short story contest. I ran home and immediately began drafting what I believed worthy of a Nobel Prize in literature. Although I’m only joking about the Nobel Prize part, my teacher commended my writing and encouraged me to continue because my story left her wanting more. She told me I would have to dedicate my second book to her- my first would obviously go to my parents. I’m still keeping my promise to her because I intend on being a published author in the future…hopefully near. Even if I’m not entirely sure what career path I want to take besides accomplishing this goal, I along with my fellow interns, have been working diligently to prepare for our futures and put ourselves in the best position to become successful after graduation.  “Success” means something different to each of us but as we sat in the Jack Nicklaus Museum Monday morning listening to guest speakers’ career advice, we all soaked up the information and contemplated how to best apply it to our lives.

IMG_7799Due to technical difficulties with the monitor, the week 6 team members, Brittany Savko, LaToya Farris, Makena Lynch, and Tyler Carpenter, quickly introduced themselves before handing the floor over to Vian Saggio, Buckeye Careers internship program manager, and Ryan Wilhelm, Career Counseling and Support Services career counselor. Vian began the session by describing what the Buckeye Careers program offers to college students at Ohio State. These services within Buckeye Careers include Buckeye Internships, Buckeye Careers Network and Buckeye OnPace. Buckeye Internships is Ohio State’s university-wide resource to connect OSU students with employers for internships and co-op positions. She stressed the importance of obtaining at least one internship during college because it allows you to learn more about yourself and career interests, gain professional experience that links to academic coursework, obtain a better understanding of companies and industries and the possibility of a long-term career fit and increase your chances for a full time job after graduation because about 63.1% of 2013 college graduates who took part in paid internships received at least one job offer. Buckeye Careers Network is an online resource, which connects students with employers for jobs, internships, co-ops and career opportunities. The site lets you to upload your resume, apply for jobs and internships, register for career workshops and review employer profiles. Finally, Buckeye OnPace is a series of self-guided career development modules that can help you learn more about yourself, choose majors or careers, apply to grad school and prepare to enter the workforce as a responsible, global citizen. Any Ohio State student has access to these services and I definitely know I’ll be taking advantage of them in the near future!


Up Next, Ryan discussed what Career Counseling and Support Services provides to students throughout the year. His office will meet you wherever you are in your career development process and provide holistic support to help you attain your career goals. Whether this be through individual career counseling, career assessments, career planning and decision-making, resume, cover letter and interviewing skills assistance or applying to grad school, CCSS offers it all and encourages students to take advantage of these services as early in their college years as possible. When it comes to the job search, Ryan recommended we begin actively looking six to 9 months before our target employment date. Also, he advised us to keep in mind that it is very probable no single job will utilize all of our skills, develop all of our interests and incorporate 100% of our values. Therefore, we must target a career field that will satisfy some of our high-priority needs and develop a flexible career identity. Even if we have our hearts set on a particular type of job or industry, we shouldn’t let it blind us from other options. As we apply for a job, Ryan told us we want our employers to know our motivation, fit with the organization and skills. Employer’s ratings of the most important qualities and skills in college graduates are as followed:

  1. Ability to work in a team structure
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  3. Ability to plan organize and prioritize work
  4. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization

However, Ryan stressed how one of the most important aspects of a successful job search is having a well-developed network. Acquainting yourself with professionals in your desired field allows you to get the insider’s view, open doors that might otherwise remain closed and request informational interviews. Possible contacts to network with include family members, friends, neighbors, professors, alumni and previous employers. Also, LinkedIn is an excellent way to find connections and develop your network.


Following Ryan and Vian’s presentation, the interns split into groups depending on our college of enrollment, so we could hear from our specific college career advisor. We sat at three different tables based on if we were enrolled in majors in the college of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Ecology or the Fisher College of Business. Each college sent a few of their career advisors to teach us about the services they offer and answer any questions we might have regarding resumes, internships and careers. My group used all thirty minutes to get advice about our resumes and the next steps we should take after we complete our internship with Bucks Go Pro. Our advisors were happy to help us and encouraged us to attend career fairs this upcoming year to network and gain more experience talking to employers.


The next activity of the day was a resume swap workshop but before exchanging resumes with other interns at our tables, Brittany and LaToya explained what would be included on their resumes by giving us a history of their employment. It was funny to discover how both Brittany and LaToya had dreamed of being detectives like the ones off of CSI when they grew up. LaToya recounted a story about how she stayed in school an extra year and a half to major in social work instead of sociology because her advisor told her she had a much higher likelihood of finding a job if she majored in social work. Then when she was working with student-athletes at Kansas State, she was blown away by how many were majoring in sociology and wondered why nobody told them to major in something else, which finally made her realize what she wanted to do. Luckily for us, neither Brittany nor LaToya ended up sticking with being detectives; instead, they chose to help student-athletes, like us, find our career paths and advise us to not major in sociology! After hearing their stories, we began editing another intern’s resume, and it was interesting to see the layout of everyone’s. I believe the workshop helped to not only improve the specifics of our resume, but gave us more ideas on how to differentiate ourselves with it.


Our final activity of the day was receiving advice from Makena and Tyler called “Job Tips 101.” They ran through the proper etiquette of in-person, phone and skype interviews, as well as post-interview protocol. When partaking in an in-person interview, they advised us to be on time, dress for success, always prepare questions in advance, smile and let your personality shine through and google yourself before your interview to avoid surprise questions about your social media. For phone interviews, find a quiet place, have good service-landlines are always more reliable, be conversational and smile. They told us to prepare for a skype interview much like a phone one by having good service, practicing, staying present, having notes and remembering names. Makena described her first skype interview, telling us it’s okay to make an ice breaker by saying it’s your first time having an interview over skype! Finally, sending a thank you note after your interview is a must because it shows your interest and allows you to restate your qualifications or answer any questions you couldn’t during the interview.

All the interns walked away from the day better prepared to handle our resumes, interviews and future employment. It was extremely helpful to teach us about the resources we have on campus because many of us are unaware of just how much Ohio State has to offer. I definitely feel more confident about obtaining another internship or job after Bucks Go Pro and look forward to taking advantage of the services offered through CCSS because I know my resume and interview skills can continue to improve!

Week 5 Part 2: THE Leadership Legacy

Week five kept the momentum rolling as we arrived bright and early on Wednesday morning at the Jack Nicklaus Museum for another session about leadership. Similar to Monday, we were greeted by a panel of three leaders but this time around, they were all CEO’s of prominent businesses in Columbus. It was exciting to here from Brandon Fuss-Cheatham, founder of Lamp Apparel, Michelle Kerr, president of Lightwell Inc., and John Lowe, CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Each had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the room and give a brief history of how they arrived at their current position. Although they attempted to keep their stories concise, it was nearly impossible since the room listened in awe to each CEO’s inspiring and unique journey.

FullSizeRender (12)Up first, Brandon told us how he once sat in our seats as a basketball player at Ohio State but unlike us, he was not as serious about his schooling. However after college ended, he decided it was time for him to change his life around, so he founded an apparel company with his college roommate. Even though it grew slowly, he informed us he never lost hope and always kept working hard to achieve success. Next, Michelle described how she was what some people would call a “nerd” in college. She always got involved in plenty of extracurriculars and studied accounting, dreaming of becoming a public accountant one day. She soon came to realize what she originally viewed as her dream job was very boring, so she opened herself up to new opportunities, traveling around the world and falling in love with the work.  Finally, John spoke to our group on how he started out college wanting to be a speech writer and campaign manager, but quickly found out he wasn’t very good at it. He then tested corporate law, which struck a chord in him. GE offered him a job he couldn’t refuse, but after years of traveling and moving from place to place, he took a 65% pay cut to embrace a risky job that offered him something unique with friends and family. All their stories proved no matter where you come from or what you believe your career will be, things can change- sometimes gradually, others suddenly- but how you embrace the challenge and choose to define yourself makes all the difference on the outcome.

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Following this, we split into three groups where each CEO talked to us individually and answered our questions. They described their leadership style, an ideal employee and how to overcome the challenges of starting something new as an entrepreneur. Before they said their goodbyes, each left us with some words to live by. Brandon encouraged us to always work hard at everything we do and trust ourselves because even though we might have doubters, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Michelle stressed to us the importance of trying new things and being open to change, since we never know when something we never dreamed of doing will strike a chord in us. Last but not least, John told us to be ready to redefine ourselves after college and sports because the world is ever-changing and work will be different than what we do now, so we must be ready to adapt and conquer.

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Next on our agenda was a case study of the 2001-02 Army Crew team lead by Professor Nancy Lahmers, executive director of graduate programs at the Fisher College of Business. The night before, our homework was to read an article over the history of the case, which explained how Coach Preczewski of the Army Crew team for the United States Military Academy at West Point faced the difficult decision regarding his team a week before the National Championships. Although members of the Varsity boat were physically more capable than member in the Junior Varsity boat, the bottom eight rowers won against the Varsity time after time. Therefore, the coach needed to decide whether he would promote the whole JV team to the Varsity team for the race, switch a small number of individual members of the two boats or keep the current team members in each boat, but try to intervene to improve the performance of the Varsity team. Our goal was to decide the coach’s best option after examining the facts of the case. Professor Lahmers made every intern participate in a discussion about the Varsity boat, JV boat and the coach. The interns described the Varsity members as arrogant, selfish, disruptive and negative, whereas the JV members were selfless, excited about practices and races and constructive with one another. Moreover, the coach facilitated the problem by avoiding confrontation and not being a leader during the situation. We came to the conclusion that the boats should remain the same, but the coach needs to refocus the Varsity boat on the goal of being National Champions and sit down with each member, describing what his role in achieving this is. This activity served to teach us the importance of leadership in a specific situation and how we can employ our skills as a leader to solve a problem.

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Before the end of the session, Patrick Klein, one of our leaders for the week and an assistant coach for Ohio State women’s basketball, described the leadership legacy to us.  He began by drawing a Venn diagram with three circles and labeled each circle as happy, strengths and money. The happy circle represents what you are passionate about. Next, the strengths circle shows what you are good at. Finally, the money circle signifies what you can make. All three circles overlap to form a small section in the middle, which symbolizes what your purpose in life is. In regards to making a legacy for yourself, only a handful of people are remembered for how rich they are or how good they are at their job. So, Coach Klein encouraged us to define ourselves by what makes us happy and what we have passion for, since this will create our legacy. I believe this was an excellent way to end the week because it left us craving to leave a mark on the world and showed it is not so far out of reach once we find what we’re passionate about.FullSizeRender (16)

Week 5 Part 1: Challenge Day

All I can say is WOW! What an exciting start to week 5. Monday began in the Union at 9 a.m. with an introduction to a panel composed of three leaders who explained their paths and how they landed their dream jobs. We heard from Bill Dorenkott (head coach of women’s swimming- my coach!), Greg Beals (head coach of baseball) and Geoff Carlston (head coach of women’s volleyball). Each coach briefly introduced himself and who he is before the interns broke up into three groups, where we could speak and ask questions to one coach at a time. While in our groups, the coaches had to answer three general questions: what is your leadership style, what traits does an ideal player on your team have and what do you believe are the keys to living a successful life. Coach Dorenkott discussed the importance of an individual having grit and a selfless nature, since these characteristics help not only the individual, but the team as a whole excel. After his time was up, he handed us a pamphlet titled “The Paradoxical Commandments,” which identified principals people should live by even if they conflict with the outcome. For example, one says, “What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyways.” Something that stands out in my mind about Coach Beals discussion is his use of the checkers versus chess metaphor in relation to leadership. He instructed us to question whether we live our lives as checker pieces, only being able to move one way, or as chess pieces, which are unique and have different skills and strategies on how to perform. This metaphor served to challenge us to develop our skills and shy away from being a ‘one-trick pony’ in regards to not only our athletics and leadership, but our lives in general. Finally, Coach Carlston’s story was very unconventional compared to the other two coaches. Instead of following the ‘system’s’ demands and entering the workforce straight out of college, he joined the Peace Corps and traveled the world for years. He described this as “following your bliss” and advised all of us to do this in all aspects of our lives in order to find happiness. All three coaches inspired the interns a great deal, and we learned so much about their leadership styles that allows us to channel ours.

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Then, something interesting occurred. A large table was set in front of us with random items on top. Some of these included newspapers, crates, cotton balls, tape and a brick! We were divided up into four groups and told to select a number between 1 and 100, which would secure our spot in ‘the draft.’ After the order of the draft was decided, each group had 15 seconds to choose one item at a time, and it looked like a dash for cash, except the cash was soft and fluffy stuff…excluding the brick…When all the items were finally divvied up equally between the four groups, our leaders explained we had 10 minutes to construct a device for an egg drop contest!

One device used a long silver tube to drop the egg into a crate filled with soft items.

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Another let the egg parachute down surrounded in a bag full of pliable material.
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The third device employed a nesting doll technique, where the egg was placed inside a box inside another box inside a larger box.

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My team switched from our original strategy of using a parachute to placing the egg inside a cup with cotton balls surrounded with bubble wrap and placed inside a grocery bag filled with fluffy material.

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At the end of the 10 minutes, each egg safely descended down a level to the drop zone- some more gently than others. This activity definitely taught us how to manage time constraints and limited materials or knowledge in a team environment. In addition to the worthwhile lessons behind this contest, all the interns learned to never trust John with eggs because even though the drop zone was splatter free, the wall behind the trash can could not say the same. We’re sorry janitors…we tried!FullSizeRender (1)

The final activity of the day caused a great stir of excitement among the interns and channeled our summertime as a child- a lemonade stand contest! Each group was supplied with a mobile cart, a large container filled with water, lemonade mix, cups, a sign and markers. Our instructions were to distribute as much lemonade as possible in one hour and whoever collected the most money could donate the total of all four groups to the charity of their choice. The leaders barely finished their spiel before all the groups began devising a strategy and dashing off into campus to distribute some lemonade! My group colorfully decorated a sign, decided to donate our money to Nationwide Children’s hospital for research and instructed Lamar to be our spokesperson because of his charming and outgoing personality. Right off the bat we racked in many customers from students walking to class and orientation groups. However, we ran into other groups and clientele began to slow, so we changed our plan of attack, setting off towards the RPAC.

FullSizeRender (11)Once we arrived after sprinting quite a distance, not many people were coming and going in the area, so we decided to try the medical center. This is where we received the most donations and stayed for the majority of our time. We connected with numerous people and met some with such big hearts! At noon, we headed to the recruit room at The Shoe to meet our 12:15 deadline. Along the way, we secured a few more donations, which made us confident in our profits for the day in comparison to other groups. Entering the recruit room, we came to find out one group had made over $90! AMAZING! While the other three groups’ amounts seemed small in comparison, our total added up to over $274, which will make a great donation to the Ronald McDonald House. Looking back on the activity if I could change one thing, I would have my group make more of a personal connection with people before offering them lemonade and asking for a donation. This was the winning group’s strategy, and I believe it made all the difference for them.

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All in all, Monday proved to be an extremely valuable day that taught us important lessons on how to effectively differentiate ourselves and become more self-aware of our leadership styles from hands on experience. If I have to say so myself, I believe this week played a crucial role in establishing a newfound connectedness between all the interns. The bond we have continues to grow week after week, but Monday tossed us into situations that allowed us to really learn more about one another by showing us how each reacts to and handles challenges. It is definitely exciting to watch each other grow but more than anything, I love getting closer to and forming friendships with people who share the same passions and goals.

Week 4 Part 2: Tour of MAPFRE Stadium and Nationwide Arena

Although the morning started off a bit chilly for summer, all the interns were excited to go “outside the bubble” with fieldtrips to Crew Stadium (now known as MAPFRE Stadium) and Nationwide Arena. Once again, we met at the Fawcett Center at 8:15 a.m. and were shuttled on a CABS bus to our destination. Our first trip was to Crew (MAPFRE) Stadium, which excited the soccer players. It did not take very long to reach our destination because it is a short venture from the Fawcett Center to the stadium. When we arrived, Meredith Ley, stadium operations manager, and her intern Sarah greeted us and immediately began our tour. Meredith guided us over to a statue at the front of the stadium of Lamar Hunt, who is known as one of the founding fathers of sports. She explained to us how he pioneered the rise of soccer in the United States by financing the construction of the stadium. We discovered the Columbus Crew were the first MLSteam to build a soccer-specific stadium in 1999. Small plaques with major soccer events hosted in the stadium also nestled in a small garden surrounding the statue.

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Following this small debriefing on the history of the stadium, Meredith led us up two flights of stairs to the south side of the stadium where the scoreboard is located. Then, Josh Fox, facilities coordinator, told us how at the time of the installation of the video board, it was the largest of any soccer stadium in the United States. Also, we learned Crew Stadium can house 19,968 spectators, which is beneficial for the hosting of the largest rock concert in the world, Rock on the Range. Last year, the estimated attendance was 120,000 people, which blew my mind since that is more than an OSU football game! Next, we walked around to the North side of the stadium where the Noredeck seating can be found. A sign posted at the top of the section established some rules, some of which made me laugh. For instance one said “chanting, shouting and playing loud instruments are encouraged” and another warned “if you aren’t a Crew fan, LEAVE!”

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During our visit, we also got the opportunity to check out the party suites and large party tent, which can be rented during games for groups to eat and socialize on game day. The coolest part of the trip was getting to see the visitor and home locker rooms. We learned how the visitor locker room had been deliberately painted all yellow to cause their opponents anxiety and tables had been placed in the center of the room to prevent a coach from having a pregame speech in the middle of the room where all the players could see. The home locker room was a complete transformation from the visitor’s with a contemporary feel and a grey color scheme. All of the student-athletes were definitely jealous! Our tour ended in the Heineken Star Lounge where a large mural of the Crew’s badge was painted on the wall. It explained how the new logo maintains the club’s traditional black and gold colors, but now forms a circular shape, designed to recognize the city’s German heritage. The two rings that make up the circular badge also form an “O” which mirrors the “O” in the Ohio State flag. On the inside of the badge, a “96” refers to the year of the club’s founding,  nine black-and-gold diagonal lines highlight the nine other charter clubs that together with Columbus formed the 10-team league in MLS’ inaugural season and a black-and-gold checkerboard pattern that serves as a nod to the fans.


After our awesome tour of MAPFRE Stadium, we loaded back onto the bus and headed downtown to Nationwide Arena. When we arrived, we hopped out of the bus excited to learn more about the Columbus Blue Jackets with a tour through the arena. Jenna, an intern for the Columbus Blue Jackets, greeted us at the door and guided us to the back of the building where the behind the scenes’ work occurs. The first person we got the chance to meet was David Traube, the senior editor/producer for the Columbus Blue Jackets. He works in a high-tech room filled with televisions and computer monitors that record every second of a game and display feeds of the game from Fox. The interns learned how replays are made and logos displayed during a game. Bucks Go Pro 11

Next we jaunted over to security where we listened to a description of the safety of Nationwide Arena during games and concerts. It was interesting to hear about how over 50 cameras keep watch over the building! Then, we strolled a little further into the building to meet the Zamboni driver, Ian Hoffman, formally known as the ice technician. He is responsible for the installation of the ice, as well as the melting and removing of it and the resurfacing of it during rough game play. It was interesting to learn the ice is only one inch think, but requires 15,000 gallons of water to cover the entire surface. Also a total of three Zambonis keep Nationwide Arena’s ice perfect.

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To get to our next stop, we walked across the part of the arena where the ice rink usually covers, but it was only concrete. No ice skating for us! We took the elevator up to tour the different levels of the arena and learn a little about its history.  A glass showcase with the banner “It Began with a Vision…” described the foundation of the Columbus Blue Jackets by John H. McConnell as the first professional sports team in Columbus, Ohio.  Next to the showcase was a large tank filled with hats from all of the hat tricks during a game. Fans toss their hats onto the rink when a player scores three goals during the course of a game, and this has occurred multiple times so the hat bin was very full.

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Our final stop of the tour was at the top level where all of the lighting and audio is handled during a game or concert. We met Jeff Coltoniak, senior production manager, and he explained how the scoreboard and other video boards, music and cannon is operated. Every one took their turn pressing buttons to change the appearance of the boards, which the interns got a lot of enjoyment out of. As his speech was coming to an end, MaryClare Stannard, an intern in the business office, noticed an “easy” button and could not resist from pushing it. All of a sudden a loud “BOOM” echoed through the arena and Jeff joked about thinking the cannon had been disabled, but apparently had not. He told us the story about how in a pinch, he had bought an “easy” button and gutted it to replace the cannon button that had broken the day before a game. We thanked him before leaving the room and heading downstairs to depart for the Fawcett Center.

Overall, the day was very enlightening for the interns because we had the opportunity to learn about and witness all the various aspects that go into managing a professional sports team. It was interesting to meet the different areas from facilities to operations that keep games running smoothly. As we rode the back to Fawcett, I overheard interns discussing how they had not realized how much behind the scenes’ work goes into a game. Most of the time, you sit eating your candy and popcorn while replays and music effortlessly blend in during a game, never appreciating the fact that people are working tirelessly to provide you with an awesome experience!

Week 4 Part 1: DiSC Assessment

As our first session of week four commenced Monday morning, it’s hard to believe us interns have already completed half of the internship with Bucks Go Pro this summer. When all of us  met in the Franklin/ Hamilton room at 9 a.m., we took our seats at a U-shaped table where the Buckeye Bash group would relay their progress in a professional meeting style. Since the event will be held in a little less than seven weeks, the event management staff noted the importance of hammering down all the details and making sure every aspect of the day gets taken into account. The Buckeye Bash group started off by having Nick Elswick, an intern for camps, lead the meeting and pass out agendas. Then, each person or pair within the group discussed the specifics about what plans had been made regarding food, activities, shirts, facilities and an opening ceremony for the day. When we discovered City BBQ and Graeter’s ice cream would be catered this year, everyone’s stomachs started grumbling because it sounds delicious and is not your standard catering. Once again, student-athletes can play on inflatables and attempt to dunk a staff member in a dunk tank this year, which made everyone smile and laugh. Finally, the huge selling point of their event was how they plan to give each student-athlete a dry-fit t-shirt again this year because everyone loved them in the Bucks Go Pro 11past. Overall, the group presented their plans excellently and all the interns and faculty were impressed by their professionalism and also excited about the fun event they have planned for student-athletes.

After the meeting concluded, we took a small break before beginning a fun activity to increase our self-awareness in the work environment. A couple of weeks ago, an email from the NCAA Leadership Development program had been sent out instructing us to complete a brief test. It interested me since it asked us to choose what most or least described us out of sets of four words: some of these included diplomatic, high-spirited, outgoing, passionate and quite a few more. The test is known as the DiSC Classic 2.0 Assessment, but that was all the information we had been given about it leading up to Monday morning. Dannie Daluisio, associate director of compliance, and her fiancé, Brandon Wright who is the associate director of compliance at the University of Maryland, led the DiSC review. He began by passing around a bag of crispy M&M’s telling us to take one each. Then, we used our candy to participate in an icebreaker because each color of M&M signified a different fact about ourselves we had to answer along with introducing ourselves by name and sport. This icebreaker was extremely enjoyable because the facts we had to answer were funny and we got the chance to learn more about one another. The facts and corresponding candy color went as followed:

Red- An embarrassing family memory

Yellow- A famous person you have met face-to-face

Blue- A go-to activity when you have free time

Green- A TV show you would purchase Netflix to watch

Orange- A song you would crush singing karaoke

Brown- Something about you that no one in the room would know

I got the fortune or picking a red candy, so I got some laughs as I told the room about how my brothers and I have a series of funny YouTube videos about bear hunting, an alien and a burrito and quite a few other embarrassing ones. I won’t share the names of other story tellers, but answers for the various candy colors included someone who accidentally wore his mom’s jeans to school, another person who has accidentally driven off with the gas pump still in his car twice and a girl who got to witness Michael Phelps propose to his girlfriend.

Up next, we participated in a preference icebreaker that split up our group between Facebook or Twitter, cats or dogs, popcorn or candy at the movies and iPhone or Android. This was a great opening activity for the DiSC Assessment review because next we determined if we were outspoken and fast-paced or cautious and deliberate, then skeptical and questioning or accepting and warm. Based on our answers, we split up into four groups (outspoken, fast-paced and questioning, skeptical, outspoken, fast-paced and accepting, warm, cautious, deliberate and questioning, skeptical, and cautious, deliberate and accepting and warm).  Later, we discovered that each of these groups represented D, i, S and C, respectively. We noticed how barely anyone was in the C group and no one was in the D group based off this activity. However, when we got our assessments back, the entire group was split up among the four different types very equally. The four groups were dominance, influence, conscientiousness and steadiness.

After we became aware of our DiSC profile and gathered with the other interns who were our type, we took a piece of newsprint, stuck it to the wall and wrote down words that described a day in the life of someone who is in our dimension. For example, my group was Conscientiousness and we used words like perfectionist, organized, reflective and diplomatic to describe our lives. Each group had the opportunity to present their dimension, and many interns noted the fact that there was an overlap between all of the types, which is what Brandon was trying to stress to us at the beginning. Although the four dimensions are unique in their own way, all are equal and bring something important to the table in a work environment. Overall, the interns really enjoyed this activity for providing us with information about ourselves that helps better our self-awareness and personal effectiveness.  For me, I was surprised at how accurate the test was in regards to myself because almost all of my words described me to a tee and when I took the initial test, I didn’t see how answering whether a couple of words were most or least like you could determine my personality. Now, I can use the assessment’s results to employ my strengths in a valuable way during my future career endeavors and avoid letting them limit me by being aware of them. Nick Elswick spoke of his experience with the activity saying, “I felt that DiSC was a great way to evaluate a group dynamic” and “it provided me with a unique way to view my leadership style and ho wit fits in with a team setting most effectively.”

In case you were wondering more about each dimension, let me provide you with a brief description of each.  A person in the Dominance dimension places emphasis on accomplishing results, the bottom line, and confidence. They see the big picture, can be blunt, accept challenges and get straight to the point. Someone who receives Influence as their dimension enjoys influencing or persuading others, openness, and relationships. They show enthusiasm, are optimistic, like to collaborate and dislike being ignored. Those people in the Steadiness dimension want cooperation, sincerity, and dependability. They do not like to be rushed, have a calm manner and approach, are supportive and show humility. Finally, a person with Conscientiousness desire quality and accuracy, expertise and competency. They enjoy independence, objectively reason, want the details and fears being wrong. The way in which a person’s four dimensions of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness combine creates a profile pattern that is different for each combination. Research has discovered 15 unique patterns that most commonly occur. These include achiever, agent, appraiser, counselor, creative, developer, inspirational, investigator, objective thinker, perfectionist, persuader, practitioner, promoter, result-oriented, and specialist.

Week 3: Develop Your Personal Brand

The beginning of week three opened up with a session explaining the meaning behind a personal brand and how the interns can find and define ours. At 9 a.m. sharp on both Monday and Wednesday, each intern sat inside the Jack Nicklaus Museum awaiting the presentation. On Monday, four men- Mark Bergey, Ben Carignan, Tyler Carpenter and Tyler Jones- stood at the front of the room ready to introduce themselves. After each greeted the room, Mark implored the group about who of the four they would hire based on their introduction. Yianni Sarris, an intern for compliance, jokingly said that he would hire Tyler Carpenter because if he did not, Tyler would make him run laps at the weight room. This persona exercise served to teach us about the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication when in a professional setting since it can make or break getting hired. As someone applying for a job, we learned that you must read the environment and adjust based on its standards. For example, wearing a suit to an interview for a position as a golf coach would probably not land you the job, since it is not the appropriate attire for the situation at hand. We discussed how each man was dressed and how he presented himself in front of the group in relation to how well it would be received in a work environment. Then, each of the four men talked about the journey they went through to get to the position they are in today.

Following this, a questionnaire was distributed covering personal brand. The sheet included questions and statements such as, “Who are you?”, “What are you?”, “List 5 words to best describe you”, “List 5 of your best characteristics”, “What does personal brand mean to you?”, “What is your personal brand?” and “List 5 people that you think have the most powerful personal brand.” After some deliberation, we addressed the challenging questions of “Who I am” versus “What I am.” Initially, some interns had mixed up the two and put what they are for who they are, but Mark explained what you are consists of where you are from and what you do, whereas who you are entails your beliefs and values. Then, we deliberated on what a personal brand is and came to the conclusion that it is how someone identifies with you. Our group devised a list of some people and things that have strong personal brands, which include Aaron Craft, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Apple and Starbucks. However, not all of these are known for their positive characteristics.

Next, we watched two short videos, one on Kobe Bryant and another on Magic Johnson. In the interview with Kobe Bryant, he touched on distinguishing between “who I am” and “what I am” in accordance with one’s personal brand. When Magic Johnson spoke in his interview, he posed some essential factors in building your personal brand. He discussed the importance of reinventing yourself, aligning yourself with other people who are the best in their field, keeping an eye on the future, not diluting your brand, defining what richness means to you and controlling your brand. Both of these examples helped teach us the meaning behind a personal brand, gave us concrete evidence of successful personal brands and provided helpful advice on how to develop our own positive personal brand.Embedded image permalink

After this introduction to personal brand, Gene Smith, vice president and director of athletics at Ohio State, came to speak to the interns about being a professional and answer any questions we had for him. He spoke about the importance of possessing emotional intelligence about the people and the environment in a work setting. Knowing who you are and being self-aware of both your strengths and weaknesses allows you to be the best you can be and lets you effectively deal with yourself. Also, he encouraged us to differentiate ourselves in our career and especially during an interview. In the interview process, he told us to know about the company, treat it like a beauty contest by knowing who you are and reading the environment and develop a strategy to remember the names of the people interviewing you.

Up next on our agenda was learning about the infamous elevator speech. We received a handout that explained how an elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition.  It also laid out a plan of attack based on the floor numbers when introducing yourself, mentioning your interests and committing to connect with the person you are speaking with. Essentially, an elevator speech allows you to sell or market yourself to a potential employer or resource in a short time frame with an explanation of who you are, a description of your background and interests and what you bring to the table. Each of us had the opportunity to practice our speeches on Wednesday in small groups and three brave souls volunteered to act out their speeches in front of the group.

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Wednesday also included a presentation on the significance of social media on personal branding, which Pat Kindig, director of digital marketing, spoke to us about. He stressed the importance of interacting with fans, actively sharing news directed at or including yourself and putting a personal touch or posting current events on your social media. All of these factors lead to a positive reflection of you that contributes to a successful personal brand. However, he explained how posts on social media done when emotional cause consequences damaging to your personal brand. For example, Christian Robinson once received a ticket for running a stop sign and took his aggressions out on twitter, which resulted in media bashing him for his immaturity. Kindig warned us against this type of thoughtless posting on social media because we are more than a reflection of just ourselves, since we also represent THE Ohio State University.

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To finish up the session, we learned about the Hierarchy of Like from Tyler Carpenter. It consists of four questions:  can I do the job the best, can I do the job, do they like me, and do they know me. When he first saw the pyramid for himself, he initially believed the most important factor to being hired by an employer is being able to do the job the best. However, he discovered knowing your employer plays  a critical role in whether or not you get the job you apply for. Then, he informed us on the actual order of value in the Hierarchy of Like for landing a job and it goes as followed from least to most important:

  1. Can I do the job the best?
  2. Can I do the job?
  3. Do they like me?
  4. Do they know me?

This surprised many of the interns because, like Tyler, we assumed being able to perform a job better than anyone else would secure our desired position. So, the Hierarchy of Like just validates the saying, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” As we concluded the week, we left the session with fancy business cards in hand and a firm desire to establish our own personal brand.

Week 2 Part 2: Habitat for Humanity

As Thursday rolled around, all the interns arrived at the Fawcett Center at 8:45 a.m. for our excursion to the other side of Columbus to help with a build for Habitat for Humanity. While we waited to load the CABS bus, Tyler Jones helped pass out BuckeyesCare t-shirts which he instructed us to wear for the day so we all looked uniform. Then, the interns loaded the bus and eagerly chatted with one another until the construction site appeared 20 minutes later. When we reached our destination, everyone breathed a sigh of relief because the foundation and structure of the house had already been built. During our ride over, the interns fretted over ruining a family’s home from their lack of construction knowledge and hoped our help would not be in vain. Fortunately, Dale, our leader for the day, was a well-trained construction worker who told us he could assist with and teach us different jobs.

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When we first entered the home, Dale greeted and instructed us to fill out a sign in sheet and another form before we could get started. After we had completed this initial paperwork, Dale introduced himself and the three other men who would be helping us. Then, he explained the mission of Habitat for Humanity was to eliminate substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes. They also provide training and access to resources to help families improve their living conditions. Following his debriefing, Dale gave us a tour of the home and explained the different projects we would work on for the day. He stressed the importance of safety, quality and quantity before we divided into four groups to work on various tasks both on the inside and outside of the house. Some of the interns installed insulated boards on the sides of the house, others built walls in the upstairs and the rest of us cleaned and caulked the basement.

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Throughout the day, we took a couple of water breaks outside where the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Happiness and excitement radiated out of everyone over the help we were providing to a family in need. The water breaks never lasted long, since the interns were eager to get back to their jobs and complete them the best they could in the short time left. Before we knew it, our time to leave had arrived, but we accomplished a significant amount of progress in four hours and the volunteers were very grateful for our help. As we left, every intern thanked the men for giving us this amazing opportunity to help give a family a better life. One of my fellow interns, Lamar Bruton, who works with student life, spoke of his experience on the bus ride back stating “It was really rewarding working together with my fellow Buckeyes on a project that would have such an impact on a family’s life” and he continued, “I’m proud to say my group and I finished the basement! AWESOME!” Gordie Koerber, an intern for Sports Administration, added “”Habitat for Humanity was an excellent experience that provided an opportunity to give back and contribute to the local community.”

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Week 2 Part 1: LiFE Sports Camp

The second week of Bucks Go Pro got rolling bright and early Monday morning as we ventured to the OSU ice rink to prepare for a day full of activities with children participating in this year’s Life Sports Camp. Every intern was very excited to take part in this youth development initiative, since it provides valuable learning experiences and transforms the lives of at-risk youth through sports and physical fitness activities. As we arrived at our meeting location at 7:30 a.m., the camp staff and Bucks Go Pro interns filed into the chilly ice rink and sat down in the bleachers. Then, the camp leaders passed out a map of campus and a list of locations with corresponding activities we were to take the campers to from 8-11:30 that morning. After our debriefing, the interns found and acquainted ourselves with the staff members we had been paired with for the day while waiting for the children to arrive off of their buses.

IMG_7636     Around 8 a.m. the children began pouring into the ice rink, dancing to the music booming out of the speakers in the room. Each child had received juice and breakfast food, which the children surrounding me were chowing down on, and I could not help but be a tad jealous because the food looked delicious! After attendance had been taken, each group was called to leave the room one-by-one and begin their scavenger hunt for the day. My group was one of the last to go because we were number six, but my group did not mind since our lower number also gave us the earlier lunch. As we exited the room and embarked on our journey, the children in my group eagerly chattered with one another and skipped around full of energy. Our first stop was at Scott Lab where the instructions on our paper told us to take an O-H-I-O picture underneath the sky walk. After this, we walked a few minutes down the road to Smith Lab to hear a presentation on engineering and to Denney Hall for a presentation on medicine. The children were fascinated by both the engineer and doctors, and I could hear them eagerly telling each other they wanted to be in both of those professions when they grow up.


Before heading to lunch, we finished up our scavenger hunt by making stops at different buildings on campus to hear presentations from an event planner and the police, learn about campus life at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and shoot some hoops at the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC). There were a handful of other stops that included presentations on geology, nutrition, nursing, cancer research, sports psychology and many more but unfortunately, my group did not have time to reach them all as campus stretches a good distance from one place to the next.IMG_7773IMG_7775

After a hearty lunch, half of the groups made our way over to The Shoe to hear a presentation from the OSU Marching Band. The children excitedly raised their hands to answer questions the band director asked and I was surprised to learn just how many of the kids could play an instrument! Then, 15 members from the marching and athletics bands entered the room carrying an array of instruments the kids stared at in awe. When the band began to play songs ranging from Hang on Sloopy to Buckeye Swag, the campers tapped their feet, swayed their heads or played the air drums. At the end, the children got an opportunity to ask the band members questions about their instruments or why they majored in music before returning happily to their buses, eagerly devouring a cold ice cream sandwich amidst the hot day.


Overall, the day was definitely an eye opener for my fellow interns and me as we worked with kids in need of support and guidance. One girl stuck by my side the entire day and begged for me to come back the following day, which surprised me because I had not realized how much of an impact we had made on the children in such a short time. When I told her I could not stay because of work the next day, she told me to let my boss know she was going to steal me, which made me chuckle. After meeting up with the other interns at the end of the day, I heard Alexis Degler, an intern for the development department, talking about how she loved the experience. Everyone surrounding her listened as she said, “I love working with kids and especially those right here in Columbus. I think it is extremely important as student-athletes to connect with boys and girls who struggle from day to day because we are their role models in the community, so they look up to us.” This became apparent to all of the interns as we discovered how many of the campers gravitated toward us wanting to hang out and learn about our sports. Looking back at the day, every intern left with a sense of satisfaction in knowing we had made a positive impact on the children and were even more excited for our volunteer work for the next day this week.