My Summer Experience: Jason Gonzales
I was a marketing intern for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association
Sales and Services Marketing
During this past summer, I worked as a marketing intern for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). Being able to work for such a unique and incredible organization was an opportunity that I could have never passed up. The experiences and knowledge I gained was truly unforgettable.
My experience started on a long plane ride heading straight to Colorado Springs, Colo., and from the moment I landed, I was definitely blown away. From the towering mountains that surrounded the area to the high altitude, which took some time to adjust to, it was quite a culture shock for a guy who comes from Chicago. However, after a few days of sightseeing and getting used to my surroundings, I was finally able to officially start my first day interning!
However, my first day did not start off as well as I would have liked. I did not fully understand just how far the organization’s building was from me (approximately three miles), and the dry Colorado summer heat I would be exposed to while walking in my dress clothes. Luckily, I did in fact make it to work on time, but quickly realized to never make that little mistake again! My co-workers and supervisors quickly made the work environment comfortable for me and ensured that I would have the best possible work experience during the course of the summer.
From the get-go, my responsibilities at work included many things, which I definitely enjoyed. One of the very first tasks I was given was to help better develop their external and internal processes and content for their new website, which was something I have never been a part of, but I was up for the challenge!
This provided me with a lot of work, but also taught me many things about teamwork and meeting deadlines. During this project, as well as others, I was given the opportunity to join my supervisor in business meetings, where I was able to give my input on what things I believe needed to be changed or added to the website. Also, I was able to conduct some research as well as reach out to many different individuals in order to develop new content on the website for everyone to see.
After completing that project, I then began developing a detailed analysis of the relationship between the NWBA and NBA, something I found extremely cool, as I am a HUGE fan of NBA! So from looking at various surveys and other detailed forms of data, I was able to give the organization my analysis.
One of the final and most notable takeaways I got to do this summer was help lead and coordinate two of the NWBA’s veterans development camps in Arlington, Texas, and Ft. Belvoir, Va. This task required a lot of long hours and tedious work, but all in all it was something that paid off and was easily the most gratifying experience I had while interning.
Not only was it great to get some experience on how to promote and set up events, but I was able to do this for the men and women who have served our country. To top it off, it was an amazing experience to be able to travel to these camps and get the chance to meet the incredible individuals in person and watch the sport of wheelchair basketball being played.
Overall, my internship with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association helped me to grow as a professional and prepare me for what it takes to succeed in the workplace. This summer journey taught me so much and I will never forget the lifelong friendships I have made during this amazing experience. However, I am looking forward to opportunities in the future and being able to incorporate what I learned this past summer in my next internship!