By: Todd Rogers, @Todd_TTU
This is the first edition 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!
Hello, my name is Todd Rogers, and this summer I will be interning within the Athletics Department at Abilene Christian University (ACU). With this being my first post, I figured I should give some quick background information on both myself and Abilene Christian University. I am currently a senior at Texas Tech University and will be heading into my last semester this fall, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Sport Management. Along with my summer internship here at ACU, I am also an intern in the marketing department at Texas Tech. This will be my second summer working at Abilene Christian University, as I was an intern in a similar capacity within the department last year.
It is a very exciting time here at ACU as the department is entering its final year in the transition to becoming a Division I FCS program. On top of that, this past spring, the ground was broken on a state-of-the-art, on-campus football stadium. It's an exciting time to be able to see the department grow right in front of my eyes! One of the best parts about my internship, and internships at smaller institutions in general, is that I can have a hand in almost every aspect of the athletics department while still getting to experience how a Division I institution operates. I never know what aspect of the department I will be assisting, and it allows me to get my feet wet in many different aspects of college athletics. For the most part, I will be working directly with the Director of Athletics, Lee De Leon, assisting him with his day-to-day tasks.
I love getting the opportunity to work directly with a Director of Athletics. Anytime I'm talking with Lee, I am constantly writing down any tidbits of knowledge. I try to be a sponge, taking it all in. Along with Lee, I will assist the Senior Associate AD, Dave Kinard, with the newly implemented Wildcat Club, the official fundraising organization of ACU Athletics. I am really excited to be able to share the experiences I will have this summer and to share my growth professionally along with the growth of the athletics department.
During my first week and a half at ACU, along with my experiences from last summer, it has been obvious to me that even when the sports slow down or stop around campus, the athletics department does not; there is no off-season. Within a smaller athletics department that is also finishing up the transition to Division I, you can imagine how hectic it can be. The chaos has simultaneously been one of the biggest learning points during my first week. College athletics is crazy at times, and it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done. In the end, everyone is one big family, and it is awesome to see staff members stepping out of their role and doing more than they are asked in order to help out other members of the department.
My first taste of stepping out of my role and assisting another staff member came during my second full day on the job. While the ACU baseball team was finishing up their season on the road facing Arizona, Crutcher Scott Field was bustling with the Texas High School baseball playoffs. This was my first opportunity to step up and help out a fellow staff member, allowing him some time off. I have had experience working games and events before working with the Texas Tech Athletics Department, so I gladly agreed to work the Thursday night and Saturday morning high school playoff baseball games. There I was on a Saturday morning, waking up at 7am in order to arrive at the stadium by 8:30am. Some of my friends always give me weird looks when I tell them this, but I loved every second of working those games.
Even though they weren't collegiate events, and I was working until 8:30pm on a Friday and waking up at 7am on a Saturday, I loved it. My favorite part about my internship, to this point, is that I don't feel like an intern; I feel just like a member of the staff. This internship gives me the opportunity to actually make a difference in the athletics department while still obtaining valuable knowledge. I love the feeling of making an impact here, which in turn makes an impact in every student-athletes’ experience at ACU. At the end of the day, that is what college athletics is all about. Through my short time here I've been given the opportunity to spread my wings and fly, and I'm excited about where I will end up.