Taking Initiative Can Take You to the Next Level

This is posted as part of our Summer Intern Blog Series. Be sure to come back each week as interns from around the country share their summer experiences with us!

By: Kelly Cartner, @kellyfavre4

A great look at the event Kelly had the opportunity to help put on. Photo Courtesy of Kelly Cartner

A great look at the event Kelly had the opportunity to help put on. Photo Courtesy of Kelly Cartner

To say the last week has been remarkably busy would be an understatement. The USTA Pro Circuit event, the Stockton Challenger, began on Sunday, July 10, but that doesn’t mean the work started then. For months now, a small team at UOP has been planning the professional tennis event and the work we have put in is incredible. 

Working with a small group of people definitely has its advantages and disadvantages, but the pros outweigh the cons. In my case, I have been given the opportunity to not only do ALL of the media for the event, but also mix marketing and facility work into the job as well. 

A few days before our event started, there was a great deal of setup that needed to be done.  Since it is summer and not a lot of people are around, along with the small budget we had to work with, it was hard to find those willing to work for little or for free (interns who needed hours). So even though my job title was Media Coordinator, I volunteered my Friday and Saturday to assist with setting up for the tourney.

When working within a small organization or with a small team, there is no such thing as, ‘that’s not my job.’ Everything is everyone’s job.
— Kelly Cartner

In my opinion, the beauty of working at a smaller school is knowing that I am going to get much more enhanced experience than I thought. I believed I was only going to be obtaining media relations experience during this tournament, when in addition, I learned a ton of new marketing skills and information on tennis facilities. Having this tennis facility knowledge can help me in the future because it is very specific and something that can set me apart from others. 

When working within a small organization or with a small team, there is no such thing as “that’s not my job.”  Everything is everyone’s job. You work as a team and if one part of the team is slacking, the whole team is slacking. If I didn’t volunteer my time to help with facility setup, there would have been two guys attempting to setup by themselves in the 100-degree heat here in the Central Valley. I had the time to give, my work was done and I knew I needed to help my teammates out.  

With helping out with facilities throughout the tournament along with marketing, I am even more happy with how this experience turned out. When I list this involvement on a resume, I won’t only put Media Coordinator, but I will also be able to add my facilities and marketing skills along with it. This will also make for a great conversation in an interview and allow me to show my work ethic and my willingness to go above and beyond my duties assigned.  

Taking the initiative is an imperative skill to have in sports. Being willing to do what is NOT asked of you when you know a task needs to be done, will set apart those who make it happen from those who wish it would happen.

There are some drawbacks to working at a small institution or in a small squad, but in the end you can find that you have the opportunity to learn multiple skills and to show off a hard work ethic including the ability to show your drive to succeed. I have mentioned before that any experience is what you make of it, and this is yet another example of how beneficial that mindset can be.  

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