Major: Athletic Training/Pre-Athletic Training
Hometown/State: Carroll, Iowa
Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Kansas City Chiefs
Company/Organization website: http://www.chiefs.com/
Title: Sports Medicine Intern
Destination: Kansas City/St. Joseph, MO
Advisor/Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was responsible for...
On a typical day I would set up the practice field for practice, prepare the players for practice (including taping and bracing), perform treatments before and after practice for all injured players, and maintained a clean and organized training room. Other duties may include: record keeping and filing, stocking fridges in all facilities, and hydration testing.
On the very last day of training camp in 2014, one of our best players suffered a severe ankle sprain. Everyone in the building was concerned because they were not sure if he had suffered a fracture. When the head coach came into the training room for an update, I was the only one present. I was speechless and incredibly nervous. Times like these are when the head athletic trainer, Rick Burkholder, preaches "We are always the calmest ones in the room." My patience has improved tenfold and my demeanor in stressful situations has vastly improved.
I will never forget...
I was fortunate enough to be selected to fly with the Chiefs to a preseason game in Charlotte against the Panthers in 2014. During pre-game introductions, Cam Newton came out of the tunnel 50 yards down the field from me with large pyrotechnics shooting into the air. I could feel the heat on my face from 50 yards away. That is when I knew I was working at the big show.
A surprising discovery...
I underestimated the amount of time it takes for an NFL organization to function. It is quite common to work 90+ hour weeks during the season. After two summers of the long, grueling, weeks under my belt, I have developed a much better work ethic. Also, attention to detail is key. I am now much sharper in my preparation and completion of daily duties.
Advice for others...
Do not be afraid of trying new things. If your goals are to experience the best of the best or highest level in whatever you are pursuing, you must go out and get it. Send out resumes, meet new people, and be willing to learn from everyone. If you get your chance, seize the opportunity. Even though you may not be the most knowledgeable individual around, you can always be one of the hardest working.
I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I became aware of NFL internships after several ISU students in the athletic training class ahead of mine completed them during the 2013 summer.
I landed this assignment by...
I sent a cover letter, resume, and list of my references to 25/32 teams in the National Football League. After months of waiting, I finally received an email from the Kansas City Chiefs informing me that I had been selected as an intern for the 2014 training camp. They asked me to come back for 2015 and I gladly accepted their offer.
I wanted this experience because...
The National Football League is the mecca of American sports. I wanted to experience what athletic training was like at the highest competitive level and work with the best in the business. My experiences ultimately helped shape my career path.