Christa Szalach

Job-Ready Intern

Christa Szalach

Public Relations and Strategic Communication

Indiana Pacers, 
Indianapolis

Why did you apply to intern at the Indiana Pacers?
I would like to pursue a career in professional or collegiate sports after I graduate from Purdue University. This internship is a great way for me to experience working for a professional franchise and figure out what path is best for me to take in my future career.

Describe your typical day as an intern.
One of the great things about this internship is that each day is a little different. When I arrive at the office, I typically complete necessary tasks to help the Pacers group sales representatives make sales and give customers a fantastic experience at Pacers or Fever (WNBA) events. When it is a Fever game day, I help prepare for the event early on in the day. I am also given the opportunity to work the actual game, which gives me real life experience of what it is like working for a professional franchise.

What is the most challenging aspect of your internship?
The most challenging aspect of my internship is learning all the jobs and tasks of a Pacers group sales representative. Since I am only there for two months total, there is a lot to learn in a short amount of time. Luckily, my boss and his co-workers are very helpful and willing to take the time to teach me everything I need to know.

What is the most exciting thing about your role?
I truly enjoy every aspect of this internship, but I think the most exciting thing about my role is having the opportunity to work with people who are permanent employees in a professional franchise. The sports world is such a small and competitive industry and often requires a little luck to get into. Working for the Pacers has allowed me to learn how things work on the inside and what it takes to be successful as an employee in this industry.

What has surprised you most about your internship?
The thing that has surprised me the most about this internship is how similar it is to my Marketing and Promotions internship with Purdue Athletics. Although I was technically a “marketing intern,” the role I played is similar to that of a group sales representative. Ultimately, everyone who works for a team or franchise tries to sell fans something. Whether that’s a ticket to an event or an unforgettable memory made with family and friends, all the departments work closely together to make both of these things possible. Since it’s summer, the Pacers are out of season and the Fever is in season. Working the Fever games as a group sales intern has been a very similar experience to working Purdue sporting events as a marketing intern.

Describe the most meaningful experience you’ve had as an intern.
The most meaningful experience I’ve had as an intern is just figuring out what I like and what I dislike. This is important because I will be entering the workforce about a year from now. I feel like my internship experiences will help guide me in making decisions about what I want to do and what job I want to have when I graduate.

How has your internship prepared you for your career?
My internship has prepared me for my future career by giving me real-life, hands-on experience. I think this will help me because I will have already been exposed to some of the tasks that I will complete when I become a full-time employee for an organization

What recommendations do you have for other interns?
My biggest recommendation for other students doing an internship is to always be willing to help in any way you can. Oftentimes an internship is like a trial run for a future job. Therefore, it is important to make a good impression in case you are looking for full-time employment at that company in the future. If you are not a good intern and do not execute quality work during your time there, you will most likely not be welcomed back in the future or receive a good recommendation from your boss.

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