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So, You’re an Intern? November 21, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Around NYC, Jobs and Work, Sports.
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Every week, this babbling ballerina, laundress extraordinaire straps on her warmest socks, toughest poker face and overly large red T-shirt and heads down to Floyd Bennett Field off of Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn to the Aviator Sports and Events Center, home to the Brooklyn Aviators Pro Hockey Team. That’s right, as if the daily life of SK isn’t crowded enough, I’m now an intern for the FHL team! The Brooklyn Aviators (formally, New York Aviators) are in their second season with the, equally two year old, Federal Hockey League, a minor league affiliate of the NHL. The front office is just as young and hungry as the guys on the ice and anyone who’d think a single A, minor league team wouldn’t be as entertaining as the pro’s has got their head stuck in a net! Try fancy footwork, overtime, shootouts, body checks and powerplay packed games on for size! These guys may not wear the name of a huge franchise but everything we do, on and off the ice, is just big (in heart, if not in size).
So, you’re an intern?, they ask me, players, friends, co-workers, followers, fans, Romans, countrymen . As common as it is to have an internship in your twenties, it still seems like the world is full of questions about how it’s done and how to go about it. My stance on it? As long as your sole responsibility is not “the guy who does the Starbucks run”, an internship can do nothing but benefit your future. What you learn today, directly in your degree field or not, is instantly applicable to tomorrow. Rather than ranting on and on about how great it is, I thought the best way to let you into the world of internships is answer the questions I get asked most – “in your face, out loud, on the world wide web!”

How did you get an internship for a professional hockey team?
After my career as a dancer, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do next but I always knew I wanted to work in marketing. It wasn’t until this spring that the reality of the situation hit me, how does someone who loves sports THIS much not work in them? I was fortunate enough to have two or three friends in the biz and simply sent out a feeler email, asking for additional contacts, if they knew any. After a few phone conversations I found myself (and my resume!) in contact with Brooklyn Aviators…the rest was history!

How do you work full-time, go to school and still find time to intern?
Creative scheduling and supportive people. Color code your planner, if that doesn’t work, color code your i-calendar! It’s all about knowing when to allow yourself sleep and when to suck it up…we’re young! It’s all going to be easier now than it will be when we’ve got the responsibility of a family. Secondly, find people who support your endeveours. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the understanding of my bosses at Aviators or my supervisors at work, no one can take away from your education, and if they’re trying to, that’s a good sign you shouldn’t be there. You’re friends are going to have to understand you won’t always be around and you’re going to have to give up a few things for a while. It’s like all things in life, a compromise.

What do you do at an internship?
Internships are different, I wouldn’t know the first thing about being an accountant’s apprentice but I can tell you, most interning roles are pretty much up for grabs. What’s it gonna hurt to throw out an idea? So, you’ll get shutdown…on the plus side, you don’t even need a bandaid for that! In addition to running around the ice, helping out in the office, ticket sales and keeping fans and players happy, what do I do? I ask a lot of questions…I ask questions about everything! Why we do things, how we do them, why we don’t do them different ways. What things are called, how they came to be, who people are. Know EVERYONE. Slap a smile on your face and do whatever is assigned to you even if you think it’s mundane…even if you think you can’t do it right. Do it. What I spend the most time doing at my internship is not being afraid to dive in.

What do you want to get out of this internship?
What do I NOT want to get?! In addition to this being a valuable learning experience, could get me valuable contacts, possibly a job, and basically teaching me the ropes of how a professional athletic team runs, this is one moment in my life I’ll never get back! How many of your parents sat down with you and said “Kid, when I was in my twenties, I interned for a professional hockey team. I was at all the games, I talked to the fans, I helped in the office, and I got to see real, pro hockey ever week.” Even if tomorrow I decided to be a Mormon sculptor and move to Greece, I’ll still have this experience. I’m not saying do an internship for the sake of doing one…but if you get one and it’s even remotely in your field of career interest jump on it! You think someone’s going to hand this to you, no. Anyone who got far in life got there by their own determination.
…and if I have yet to convinced you about how sickly awesome being an Aviator Intern is, I guess you’ll need to see the proof in the pudding by coming to a game! The entire season schedule is available on the website at www.brooklynaviators.com! Come see me run around like a mad-woman at our very next game on Wednesday, November 23rd starting at 7:35pm! Tickets are only $12 and we’ve got a full concession stand with yummies for you to watch the game with! Feel free to give a shoutout or wave if you see me blazing by!

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