Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Catching Up

It is safe to say that I have let this blog slip to the wayside recently (read: the past six months). In fact, it never has really taken off since its inception. Perusing Perugia chronicled every detail at length of my time in Italia, and after being back for the school year at Clemson, I decided to start this blog. I noticed times during those semesters where I would have a concept that I would have run away with sitting on a train back from Milan, spent three days straight writing, and trekking to school to upload it. I still get those epiphany moments, quite often actually, but the motivation has never been there to sit down and write. Topics sat on a list ignored, and instead of a documentation of my life I am left with a collection of random accounts where passion to write or the spur of the moment overcame the desire to do something else. After a period of time, it just seemed overwhelming to jump back into it. Perusing Perugia is such a detailed account of my trip, I can look back at it and relive almost any point of my study abroad experience - and on many nostalgia-filled occasions, I have done just that. So where do I pick up from, when I have never really left off from a point at all? I guess I just jump right into it. I hope to make a few different installments, to keep this from being a marathon post and ease myself back into the blogosphere.

To set the scene, my senior year forced me to deal with the confronting reality that in the highly competitive world of sports marketing, I was about to graduate with a Sports Marketing degree and no prospects of getting a job with it. This post will allude to my thought process that shaped my life plan for my senior year. After not being accepted to the summer program at UGA, I was staring down the prospects of what I would do for the time between graduation and starting a program in the fall or January. I ended up making a last ditch effort, applying to a load of internships through March and early April in whatever positions in sports I could feasibly meet the requirements for, mainly through the league websites of the NHL and MLS. Nothing I had really studied in school, but anywhere to try to get my foot in the door. I did not hear back from the majority of them, and the rest I got a generic "thanks for your interest" response. Now I was really up a creek, about to graduate and with no prospects of a full-time job, part-time job, or internship, and only a hope to be accepted into further studies within nine months.

Studying for my last undergraduate final in the library with Adair, I mindlessly checked my email around midnight to distract myself temporarily. I was completely unprepared for what was waiting in my often unchecked GMail account. It was an email from my childhood soccer team, D.C. United, looking to interview me for a sponsorship internship, the next day at 11:00 AM. Evidently, at the time I was applying for internships, this particular one was not posted - I had applied to the only D.C. United internship I could fine, a Community Relations position, but it was really not a position that I had any experience with or business being hired for. Luckily for me, the director of CR passed my application along for the sponsorship position - which falls directly into sports marketing and what I had studied at Clemson.

Sharing the news, I had a minor freak out and my mind started racing in all different directions. Adair had to assure me that it would absolutely be a phone interview, and I would not have to get myself to D.C. in less than 12 hours. I abandoned my studying for my Social Psych final and started preparing for my interview. It went unbelievably better than I expected it to, and less than a week later, I had been offered and accepted the position as a Sponsorship Intern with Corporate Partnerships at D.C. United. (I also handily got an A on my final, so no loss there.) Suddenly within a week, my 'what are you doing after graduation' answer shifted from an unsure "I'm looking at going to grad school at Michigan State or Texas at Arlington, but they don't start until January" to a confident "I will be interning at D.C. United, a team I have loved since I was 6 years old." It has been such a blessing to see the culmination of my college career culminate in an experience such as this, from the waning moments of a senior year filled with such self-doubt, realization, and alternate life plans. To go from uncertainty and near despair to pure joy and unadulterated hope...the same feeling that makes us love sports and keep coming back for more...the feeling of elation when your team scores the crucial goal in extra time. I leave you with this visual metaphor:

Landon Donovan Goal vs. Algeria
In an effort to not do this story a disservice, I have decided to slowly catch you up to speed on my adventures so far this summer. I hope to keep the updates coming more regularly from here on out, so look out for them!

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