Rice University Sport Management student Andres Diego ’17 spent the 2016 Spring semester in London, interning at Crawley Town FC, an English soccer club in the fourth tier.
Diego obtained the internship as part of the Global Urban Lab, a Rice University-sponsored program that facilitates international opportunities for students. He acted as the communications intern for the club’s charity organization, the Crawley Town Community Foundation.
Diego’s primary duties as a communications intern included creating news content for the foundation, updating its social media pages, and performing maintenance on its website. His role was critical to the organization's goal of promoting a positive image and enhancing brand equity. As the group's only communications representative, he assumed a considerable amount of responsibility and became knowledgeable in a wide array of topics, while maintaining a constant dialogue with all other departments within the foundation (including community development, soccer academies, education, accounting, and executive functions).
“I had grounds for creative freedom and pursuing my own projects,” Diego said. “It was a great position in this regard, because I ended up with a portfolio full of unique and interesting experiences. I was able to leave a legacy at the foundation by executing new promotion and communication practices.”
Diego, while officially an intern in communications, also worked in marketing, as the two disciplines often go hand in hand. Within the latter division, Diego’s responsibilities included strengthening marketing campaigns on social media and analyzing search engine optimization. In this capacity Diego again worked closely with other divisions and displayed mastery of multiple fields, proving himself invaluable to the organization.
"This was a great internship because I had the autonomy to materialize my creative energy,” Diego said. “I appreciated the opportunity to work in a variety of roles and learned a ton from this experience.”
Diego undertook intensive preparation to achieve his position, as Crawley Town's applicant process requires the completion of an extensive online application. The Department of Sport Management met with Diego and other candidates throughout the process, but ultimately, garnering these coveted positions rests on the shoulders of the most talented applicants. While there is a set process for obtaining distinguished internships and jobs within the sports field, it takes a concerted effort from both applicants and departments to see positive results.
Zachary Yablon, a junior from New York, New York, is double-majoring in Sport Management and Economics.