Here at Maryland, we are #blessed with an all-star intern staff. Our role as supervisors is to take advantage of the youth, creativity, and energy of the people who interact with our fans routinely, on the ground level. We take pride in placing great responsibility on the shoulders of our student workers, and it gives us great pleasure to see the professional and personal development of our young leaders. We understand that some of the biggest assets in our athletic department are our student workers, and their unique perspective as students shouldn’t be undervalued.
With such a talented and intelligent student base, we act to make sure we aren’t missing out on good ideas and a fresh perspective. A few of the steps we take are as follows:
- After each game, we ask our interns for any constructive feedback they may have.
- Specifically, we request they tell us “one good thing, one bad thing.” As we go around the room, it morphs into a conversation about how to improve moving forward, and the interns seem grateful to have their voice heard by their superiors.
- Actionable points for the future are logged in a Google Doc kept throughout the year.
- Interns are very hands-on in their roles as lead or secondary marketing contacts.
- Each year, a few of our veteran interns have the opportunity to serve as the primary marketing contact for some of our Olympic sports. On top of this, each Olympic sport has an intern tasked as a secondary contact. Not only does this alleviate some of the more repetitive work from our full-time staff members, but it creates additional opportunities for student interns to take lead on revenue generation and attendance boosting projects.
- We run ideas past our student interns for major student promotions.
- If our student interns don’t think an idea is cool, there’s no way it will resonate with the rest of the student population.
- For example, when planning our “Rep Your Class” promotion at football, where each student year gets their own “freshman,” “sophomore,” etc. shirt, ideas are continuously run past our student interns. They’re often the first people brainstorming on the year’s theme and they often get to see their ideas come to fruition. Every year, this is our highest attended football game by students, and it’s often because of the creative work done by our student staff.
It’s important to remember that our student interns are only with us for a short period of time. Whether they’re with us for four years or just a couple months before they move onto life after graduation, we should cherish them while they’re here. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of our jobs and getting stuck in creative ruts. If we look up sometimes, we can see that our biggest assets are right in front of us.
We cherish our interns, even when they leave our office. As both a way to recognize past interns’ accomplishments, as well as give a source of inspiration to our current interns, we created a #ProTerps “intern tree.” This board, front and center in our office, serves as just one of the many ways we recognize all of the work our student interns do.
-- Rachel Palmer and Jake Longenecker
Maryland Athletics Marketing Assistants