my internship experience

Andrea Logan '12, a Sport Management major and Business minor with a concentration in coaching from Eliot, Maine, spent the summer in Dublin, Ireland, as an intern with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), the governing body of soccer in the Republic of Ireland.

At Colby-Sawyer, Logan is captain of the women's soccer team and president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

Why did you choose this internship? What was the application process like?

I wanted to study abroad but it didn't look like I would be able to, so I started to look for internships in New Zealand and Europe. Through Colby-Sawyer connections I ended up with the email address for the Women's National League coordinator; the FAI just added the league, which is the first step towards professional soccer for women in Ireland. I wrote and described what I was looking for in an internship, had a Skype interview, and started filling out my internship paperwork.

What skills were required for this internship and what were your responsibilities?

I needed basic computer skills, people skills, and the ability to multitask and be extremely organized. Some of my responsibilities were to research and collect statistical information on women's participation in soccer within Ireland. I also assisted in creating a survey about women's soccer in Ireland as well as worked with the FAI and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to create the marketing plan for the 2011-2012 season.

I also worked with the grassroots department doing anything they needed, which ranged from photocopies to working at summer camps. I spent a few days each week working in the ticket office, answering phone calls and working season ticket sales, too.

Did your course work and studies prepare you for this job?

The two classes that really helped me were Athletic Administration and the Senior Seminar class, Sport Management, which I took early. There was a situation where the person who was supposed to plan the Girls U14 tournament became extremely ill and I was the only one in the office.

I had to throw together the program, which meant booking the ambulance, the referee and making the game schedules. For an Athletic Administration project we had to plan an event, accounting for everything that would be needed at the event, and that really helped me get through the tournament. Without that project I would not have had enough experience to pull off the event.

The Sport Management class also helped tremendously because we had worked with an organization to create their business and marketing plan, and one of my responsibilities with the FAI was to assist in creating the women's marketing plan.

What did you enjoy most, and what did you find most challenging about your internship?

What I loved most about my internship was spending the summer in Ireland and learning from the European work ethic. The most challenging thing was the difference in accents as well as moving to a city and learning its public transportation system.

My first day on the job, I hadn't even been in Ireland for 24 hours. I had to get a cab to the office where I spent the day working in the ticket office, stuffing envelopes with match tickets and answering phones.

Some highlights were working at a camp held at the School for the Deaf, and I got to work with international players as well as kids who loved soccer. Spending the summer abroad traveling through Ireland is something I will never forget.

What did you learn during your internship?

I learned to always keep a paper trail, because an office is like the game Telephone. I also learned how to multitask even more than I already did. I was constantly on the go.

What did this experience teach you about yourself?

I learned that as much as I love soccer, it is not the area in which I want to spend my working days. I also realized that I really love planning, organizing and working at events so I have decided to move in that direction with my studies.