#ScrantonSummer Reflections

Several students wrote reflections about their summer, whether they were at home or abroad, doing service or interning. Read on for excerpts of those reflections and links to the entire articles.

A Talk with Sports Marketing Intern Mark Miller

Tell us a little bit about your internship.

 This summer, I am interning with Wasserman in Raleigh, North Carolina. Wasserman is a sports marketing agency that has offices around the world and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. There are three parts to Wasserman’s business – talent, properties, and brands.

Wasserman employs agents to procure and negotiate endorsement opportunities for top athletes in professional sports. They represent athletes including Andrew Luck, Russell Westbrook and Giancarlo Stanton. The second part of Wasserman’s business is properties. Properties include leagues, teams, entertainment studios and broadcast networks. Wasserman works with sports properties to drive innovation and elevate partnership opportunities. The third part of Wasserman’s business is brands. Wasserman partners with many Fortune 500 companies to help achieve the brands’ goals with their sports marketing programs.

Over the past few summers, I worked with motorsports properties on the East Coast. I hope to work for NASCAR at some point in my career, but I have wanted to work with a sports marketing agency for a very long time. Rather than focusing on one sport, Wasserman has allowed me to learn about the business behind many other popular sports in the United States. I hope to use this knowledge of sports business in a full-time role with a sports marketing agency after college and hopefully one day with NASCAR.

Describe a typical day on the job.

I was assigned to work in the brands division at Wasserman on an account with a client that is a Forbes Top 100 list company. The client has partnerships in most professional sports leagues including MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL and the PGA TOUR. They have a significant presence at many major sports events throughout the year and it is my job to support the work on the strategy and activation calendar.

On a typical day, I meet with my manager in the morning to review my progress on outstanding assignments. Many of my projects are research-based and require thorough searches for competitive information that will later be used to advise the client. Throughout the day, I sit in on meetings and conference calls with account managers that work on a specific sport or category to support to overall account. I love being surrounded by professionals that have years of experience in the sports business industry. It’s an industry that I have followed for many years and I still cannot believe that I work in it. In the next few weeks of my internship, I hope to make the most of my time at this company and learn more about the professionals that work here over lunch and coffee.

Read on, here.

Anchorage, Alaska Reflection

By Virginia Farrell '20 

No amount of words can truly express the transformative power of a service trip. However, the people at Bean’s Café in Anchorage, Alaska spoke words my group and I could not possibly forget. Immediately after finals week, nine students and I along with our two chaperones served meals to the homeless of Anchorage, Alaska. Nevertheless, the entire experience felt like we were the ones being served, cared for and looked after.

Bean’s Café can be described as home to many of the homeless and food-insecure of Anchorage. Bean’s is a day shelter that serves approximately 700 meals a day between breakfast and lunch. All are accepted at Bean’s. No one is required to prove that they fall below the poverty line or even prove that they’re homeless. They serve everyone from the homeless to the non-homeless, specifically the food-insecure people of Anchorage. To most of the destitute people of Alaska, this is a place of refuge, acceptance and community.

Across the parking lot from Bean’s Café stands Brother Francis Shelter where our group spent two nights serving dinner and cleaning up the campus. Brother Francis provides many services to aid the homeless community in transitioning out of homelessness. Most remarkably, they board approximately 300 people a night. Mattresses are lined up edge to edge in every single hallway and room of the facility. Brother Francis works under the umbrella of Catholic Social Services, where our group spent time cleaning the pantry and walking people through a grocery store they created.

CSS organized a room of pantry items into a grocery store for food-insecure people to shop and pick out food they want based on a point system. The people going through the grocery store held a card with the number of family members they had and on each shelf of food there was a chart that explained how many items each family could receive based on their number of family members. This allows Alaskans to spend money on bills rather than food shopping, helping them stay afloat in difficult times.

From our very first day when we pulled into the tiny parking lot scattered with people waiting to enter Bean’s, we were greeted with kindness. We piled out of our vans not knowing what to expect. A homeless woman sitting outside welcomed us with a smile and spoke the words, “Good morning, thank you for your service.” Suddenly a sense of peace and love flooded our hearts.

Read on, here.

Cambiando Vidas Reflection

By Kelsey Andrews ’19

When I was told my ISP experience would involve building a home in the Dominican Republic, I didn’t know what to expect. I could have never imagined the warm welcome my group and I would receive, the community that would come to touch our lives or the beautiful lessons we would learn along the way. In one week with Cambiando Vidas, the organization that runs the project, we were able to build a family in San Juan not only a house but a home. In return, the family and members of the entire San Juan community helped to give us an experience that we will never forget.

Throughout the week, we worked side by side with the founder of Cambiando Vidas, Jose “Pepo” Abreu, and the community of San Juan. Cambiando Vidas was established in 1997 by Jose as a way to give back to a community that gave so much to him and his family. In 1997, Jose’s mother’s home was destroyed by a fire while he was overseas. In an incredible act of kindness, his neighbors and community came together to build his mother a new home, even more beautiful than she had before. To this day, Jose does not know the names of all of the people who contributed to this incredible act of generosity. To pay forward this compassionate deed, Jose established an organization dedicated to building homes for deserving families in impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic. Since its inception, Cambiando Vidas has helped numerous families build new lives by helping to build them new homes; my group and I were fortunate enough to lend a hand in the 86th.

Read on, here.

Immersed in El Salvador, A Reflection

By Taylor Limone '20

n the beginning of June, I went on an international service trip to El Salvador. Prior to leaving, my mind was full of expectations. I desperately wanted to be a part of the groups that return from their trips and claim that they have been changed for life. However, I was placed on an immersion trip. This meant I would not be providing the Salvadorans with anything tangible. I would not build a house or feed a village; rather, I would have to allow myself to be served. I remember asking myself, what is going to change me if I am not the one serving? What could I possibly learn from being served?

CRISPAZ, Christians for Peace in El Salvador, stresses service through accompaniment. Dean Brackley speaks on the idea of “downward mobility” or lowering your social status to live in solidarity “with”. Sometimes service takes on a lens in which the higher class serves the lower, but there is maybe something more valuable in practicing Dean Brackley’s downward mobility. It takes work, and it is something that my group and I developed all week, but I believe that we succeeded.

During our nightly reflections, Francisco, the executive director of CRISPAZ, recited this quote from Dean Brackley: “Have the courage to let your heart be broken. Have the courage to feel with these folks. Have the courage to fall in love. Have the courage to get ruined for life.” I can honestly say that no words better embody my experiences in El Salvador than these words.

Read on, here.

RSM Summer Leadership Q&A

Student Anthony DeGennaro shares his experience with RSM's summer leadership program, Pathways.

Tell us a little bit about your summer program.

I had the privilege of being invited to RSM's summer leadership program called Pathways on June 26 and 27. This program was a great opportunity to meet current employees of the firm and learn what they had to say about RSM. The two days at RSM were days spent networking and doing fun team activities. I got to meet everybody at the firm from people who were interning this summer to partners who have been at the firm for over 10 years.

In what ways has a Scranton education prepared you for this particular experience?

A Scranton education prepared me for this experience because RSM preached treating others how you want to be treated and to have respect for one another. This was also preached at Scranton from my business ethics class to my philosophy classes and even in my accounting classes. Having a Jesuit education made it easier to understand what that respect meant and how to put it into practice.

What did you learn about yourself through this experience?

I learned that I should not be afraid to step up into a leadership role even if I am not sure that I can handle it.

What is the most important lesson you learned?

The most important lesson I learned was that, while you should have a career plan in your mind, you have to be able to adapt and accept that it may not go exactly to plan.

Read on, here.

Caribbean Social Immersion, A Reflection

By Belen Fresno

“Who are you?” This question may be a strange way to begin a reflection, but it’s one that I had to ponder throughout my ISP trip. “Who am I? Where am I from? What is my nationality?” For many of us, these questions are easy and can be answered fairly quickly: my name is Belen Fresno, I am from Spain, and my nationality is Spanish. Some of you may be able to say that you are American, Italian, English, etc; however, what if you were stripped of your nationality? Who would you be? Where would you belong? What would you say your nationality is?

On June 2, 2018, a group of Scranton students, faculty and I embarked on a journey that would change our lives forever. Twelve of us were chosen to go on the ISP Dominican Republic-Caribbean Social Immersion Program trip. As stated in the name, our type of service would not be physical in nature. We would not be able to see any tangible evidence of service being done, such as building a house. On the other hand, our trip was presence-based and focused around immersing ourselves in the incredible culture we were surrounded by. At first, it was hard for me to understand how an immersion trip could be considered service; I couldn’t wrap my head around how service could also be something abstract. I was aware that we would be interacting with people in different areas of the country for a majority of the time and we would have the opportunity to ask about their lives. However, to me, it still seemed like a normal conversation that I could have with anybody, anywhere. I often asked myself how having conversations with the people from the Dominican Republic (DR) was going to help?

Read on, here.

Nathan Koziol '20 Discusses his Internship Experience

Read about Nathan Koziol's time as a product management intern at Stanley Black & Decker this summer.

Tell us about your internship.

I am a product management intern at Stanley Black & Decker for the newly acquired Craftsman brand.  I work in their Southington, Connecticut office.  As a product management intern, I am working on a summer project proposal where I am going through the various steps of the life of a product and will present my idea to a board at the end of my internship. From there, with the board’s approval, my work will be handed to my department to continue working on after my internship ends.  Some of the cool things I get to do with my project are conduct field research and work directly with SBD’s engineers and Innovation Design team. In addition to my project, I work on various tasks given to me by my managers.  These tasks include a wide range of things like changing product SKUs and creating planograms.

Describe a typical day on the job.

I am given an “action item list” at the beginning of every week which essentially is a big list of tasks that I need to complete. I come into work a little before 9 a.m. and look at the list to see what I have and have not accomplished and then I prioritize how important each task is and start my tasks that way.  I work a lot with Microsoft Office, especially Access, Excel and PowerPoint, so I always have three monitors to display everything. I usually bring my lunch and eat it at my desk because there is so much to do.  Whenever I complete my tasks, I try to go around the office and ask if anybody has any work. I also have meetings throughout the day that I have to attend so I always walk around with a pen and notepad writing down anything of importance that I hear. I leave the office around 5 p.m., sometimes later depending on deadlines, and then head home.

What has been your most memorable experience?

One project that I found to be really cool was creating a planogram (POG) for a large retailer out West.  A) POG is a visual representation of a store’s set up, so my manager tasked me with deciding how to set up the product bays and my idea was then sent to the chain retailer’s headquarters to use for the upcoming products. I find this to be memorable because all of the choices and decisions I made as an intern will be seen in a few months on the shelves of that retailer when our new products debut.

Read on, here.

Increasing Confidence through Occupational Therapy, A Reflection

We asked Victoria Gazzillo a few questions about her summer internship at Intensive Therapeutics in Caldwell, New Jersey.

While at Intensive Therapeutics, another Scranton OTS alumnus and I were responsible for developing a six-hour intensive group occupational therapy vocational training program for the facility’s young adult population.

In providing work opportunities to our young adults, our vocational program incorporated two businesses: Ethan and the Bean, a growing coffee shop that advocates decreasing the unemployment rate of individuals with disabilities, and Soaperior Organix, a soap company. Both businesses have been established by moms whose sons have autism to provide them and other young adults with opportunities to gain work experience and become more independent in their daily lives.

Our focus when designing this program was to create a realistic work environment in which our students with the appropriate skills, adaptations, techniques, and experience can maximize their daily functioning and independence in the future endeavors they hope to one day achieve, such as for building relationships, attending colleges or universities, employment, independent living, etc. At Ethan and the Bean, our clients learned everything required to make and serve coffee from weighing coffee beans, to grinding, to brewing, to serving, packaging online orders, handling a register and more. At Soaperior Organix, our clients assembled and packaged gift baskets, made and printed custom postcards and business cards, and online orders, and shipping requirements according to USPS standards. Our young adult population consisted of 12 students ranging from 17-30 years of age with diagnoses of autism, traumatic brain injury, Down syndrome and hemiplegia.

Read on, here.

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