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.
Once 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!
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.