BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott College is a pioneer in requiring comprehensive internship experiences in every program of study for undergraduate students. Here's a look into women's lacrosse student-athlete and communication major Maya Feigenbaum's (West Hartford, Conn.) internship experience with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers.
ECGULLS: Describe your overall internship experience.
FEIGENBAUM: When first starting my internship I honestly had no clue what to expect. There were so many new things I was about to experience. Not only was I learning about the workforce but also learning how to live on my own in a new city. I worked for the Community Relations Department which meant a lot of social interactions, donations, and fan development. Working for a professional hockey team meant that I got to interact with so many other departments when we had major events. An average workday for me goes a little like this; The first thing I do in the morning is I check for any emails or voicemails to see if I have to respond or call anyone back. That is what I usually do first. A big part of my job is sending out pucks, mini helmets, and sticks to people for their upcoming events. So, I always have to make sure I am up to date with each event and send the item out on time. If we have a big event coming up, I'll sometimes have to make flyers, make sure we have all the games loaded up in the truck and adjust any last-minute changes my boss would like me to do. Overall, I loved working for a sports team. I got to interact with so many different people over the weeks but one of my favorites being the ability to interact with the kids. There is nothing better than seeing kids be so happy at the events we put on.
ECGULLS: What have you learned from your internship?
FEIGENBAUM: The main thing we do over the summer is called Caravan Events. This is where we travel to the Shore or different parts of Philadelphia to interact with our fans. We have all sorts of games happening over the allotted two-hour time period. There is a bungee run, inflatable mini hockey, street hockey, etc. We also have giveaways and alumni to sign autographs to the fans. This is a big event that happens a couple of times in the month of July and August. It'll take roughly about two hours to set up everything and it's all set up by the Flyers' staff. While the event is two hours long we run different games and talk to the people from that community who are fans that are excited to be there. I've learned that you have to be very organized and communicate well with others in order to succeed with these kinds of events.
Another fun event I got to work at was the Annual Flyers Alumni Golf Tournament. Here I was able to go out of my comfort zone and work under a different person as my boss was playing in the tournament. Her job is Event Planning for the Flyers, so I was able to learn the whole concept behind why we set things up in a certain way. We had to set up an auction table and present things in an orderly way so that people would be more interested in the items. I learned a lot that day because it showed me a different side of my internship that I usually don't do. It also was really cool to meet so many different alumni players throughout the day. I have to say the coolest part of the day was seeing a helicopter land on the golf course as it previously dropped golf balls off determining a raffle prize winner. The objective being whoever's golf ball landed in the hole won a cruise.
ECGULLS: How will this internship help you in your career moving forward?
FEIGENBAUM: Working for a professional hockey team is a great experience overall, especially when I don't have an idea on what I want to do in the future. It allowed me to be more confident in the workforce and have a better understanding of what I both enjoy and dislike doing. I got to work with other departments like marketing, charities, and sales. I wasn't just stuck in one area which helped me learn a lot more about the work industry as a whole. I think this internship will definitely help me in the future because I learned new skills such as the ability to interact with people and dealing with situations that may not always be easy but being able to overcome them with certain strategies. When working in the sports industry, it is never easy and you will always have various complaints from fans. But, the best part about this internship is making people happy and, hopefully, we were able to make our fans day when we interacted with them.
ECGULLS: What kind of networking have you done at your internship?
FEIGENBAUM: I have made connections with many different people from the organization. I have done many events with different departments within the organization, which allowed me to connect with other people. I also have connected with other people at events outside the organization.
ECGULLS: Do you have a favorite experience or story from your internship? If so, what was it?
FEIGENBAUM: I was able to take part in a hospital visit to a little boy who was getting two new prosthetic legs. One leg was with our mascot Gritty on it and the other with the Phillies logo. His birthday was coming up and his mother reached out to us to see if we could put something together for him since he was such a huge fan. I put together a bag of items for the little boy and his brothers (who were also big fans as well). We gave him a jersey with his name on it, the age he was turning for his birthday, and a bunch of other things. But that wasn't everything we wanted to do for this boy. I was able to go to the hospital myself and see his reaction(s) to when his favorite mascot Gritty appeared to surprise him. This was by far one of the coolest experiences I got to see while working for the Flyers. The story ended up being posted on different social media platforms and even on the news. Being able to see the reaction in person was absolutely incredible and heartwarming. Simply knowing that a few little things like that could make a kid's life makes me so grateful for the opportunity to work within this spectacular organization.
THE ENDICOTT INTERNSHIP MODEL
A philosophy of "learning by doing" permeates the college curriculum in which students are encouraged to integrate theory and practice in all of their studies.
Through their experiences in internships students will be prepared to:
- Apply, integrate, and evaluate knowledge within a particular academic discipline
- Develop competencies for careers and community service
- Explore career options and gain field experience
- Foster personal growth through increased self-confidence, interpersonal skills, an understanding of self and others, and a heightened awareness of ethical standards
- Improve the ability to learn in a self-directed manner
(Photo Credit - Maya Feigenbaum '21)