By: Todd Rogers, @Todd_TTU
After the craziness of spending a week traveling over 1,000 miles across Texas, it was nice to have a week that was a little less hectic and more relaxing for me. With several people out of the office for the week, it gave me plenty of time to recover and catch up on all my reading and homework that I got behind on while traveling on the Wildcat Club Caravan.
Additionally, with a slower week, it gave me another opportunity to build meaningful relationships with people in the athletic department and other staff members across campus. I know I have said it before and I probably sound like a broken record, but I can’t reiterate enough how great the experience has been here at ACU. Through my two summers I have grown relationships with staff members here that I know will have an impact on my career long after my internship here at ACU is through.
For anyone who wants to break in to the college athletics industry, I strongly recommend starting out at a smaller school. While smaller schools’ may not look as flashy on a resume or turn any heads, the experience that accompany a smaller environment are worth more than any line on a resume. While eventually I want to work in a Power 5 athletics department, my time here at ACU has certainly shown me that starting out in my career, the FCS and DI-AAA level of athletics is a great place to be.
Not only do I still receive experience at a Division I university and get the opportunity to understand the intricacies of how DI athletics departments operate, but I also get the opportunity to do so much more than my title would say. In smaller departments everyone has to have each other’s back. Additionally, in a smaller environment, there are so many opportunities to expand upon one’s responsibilities and grow as a professional.
One way that I’ve always looked at it, especially for entry-level jobs and internships, is that I could find an internship at a big time athletics program and be another name on a paper or I could find my way at a smaller athletic department and have a hand in every aspect. Not only that, but in smaller environments, I get the opportunity to know everyone personally.
Here at ACU every day I get the opportunity to work one-on-one with the Director of Athletics, an opportunity I would most certainly not find if I were to intern or have an entry-level position in a much bigger department. That is why I love here it at ACU and, for anyone else out there starting out their career in college athletics, don’t forget about the smaller schools! Even if your ambitions are to be at the top of an athletics department at the FBS level, the relationships made and the opportunities presented at smaller schools can be extremely beneficial.
In my very first post of my summer I ended it with saying “Through my short time here at ACU I’ve been given the opportunity to spread my wings and fly, and I’m excited about where I end up.” I can say today that with two weeks left still in my internship I have grown more than I could have expected.
Through my time at ACU this summer I have made extremely beneficial personal and professional relationships with other members of the department and have gotten the opportunity to be involved with aspects of college athletics I never thought I would get the chance to this early in my career.
I still have two weeks left in my internship here at ACU and I look forward to making the most out of my time here!