The COVID-19 pandemic came with a lot of things: a public health crisis, a reintroduction to living life as we know it, and most of all, a whole lot of uncertainty. At the start of the pandemic, I counted the days in which I didn’t step foot outside of my family’s home.
When you’re stuck inside for 92 days while the entire outside world seems to be falling apart, you have a lot of time to think. One of the biggest internal battles that I had to face while being in quarantine was the question of, “What do I want to do with my life after graduation?”
Since freshman year, I always knew for a fact that I’ve loved advertising. Now, nearing my graduation date, I love where the advertising curriculum has taken my creative skills. I focus on art direction, which has given me a lot of the tools necessary to be an art director, creative director, or even a graphic designer. While I knew what role I wanted to be in, the stress was always still present. Now, I was thinking about what industry I want to be in. Fashion Advertising? Beauty Advertising? Pharmaceutical Advertising?
Next thing you know, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, which fully answered my question. Screaming in the streets, marching in unity, and bonding with an entire city over one shared love was an unreal feeling. From that moment on, I knew that was hooked on the sports industry, specifically in Philadelphia. I knew that I couldn’t just hop onto a huge team and get going, so I knew that I needed to work my way up.
My first internship opportunity came knocking on my door in February of 2020. After what seemed like hundreds of applications sent in for internships, I finally was offered a role as a Game Day Intern for the Wilmington Blue Rocks Minor League team. Finally! My life was taking off and I couldn’t wait to start being a part of the working world.
Remember when I said that COVID came with a lot of things? One of them was bad news. I was no longer set to intern with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Not only did I feel like something that I worked so hard for was taken from me, I felt a major setback. The entire summer I thought about how I was a rising senior with no internship experience and I worried for my future. I applied for more and more internships, but nothing came up.
Then, one year later, I got the email that I had been waiting for. I was told that Gotham FC, formerly Sky Blue FC, a professional women’s soccer team out of New Jersey, wanted to complete a phone interview with me. I applied for the role of Graphic Design Intern, which has a lot to do with what I’ve learned in my time as an art direction student. The interview went well, and about a week later I received my second internship offer. I was thrilled that in my final semester I was finally getting the chance to put my knowledge to the test.
Starting my internship, I was eager to learn more about soccer, the life of a professional graphic designer, and how the sports industry really works. I expected this internship to play out differently than it has, but that is simply the fault of the pandemic. Life as we know it is still changing every day, which affects every person, industry, business, and team. In my internship, things got started a bit slowly but have worked out for the best and have solidified my love for all things creative.
At my internship with Gotham FC, I’ve worked on some general Photoshop work, I’ve created logos, and I’ve worked on graphics to be distributed later in the season. A lot of the work that I’ve done here is typical design work, but with projects that I never would have done before. I am so thankful for the experience that I’ve had and continue to have because it has helped to solidify my uncertainty about life after graduation and has reminded me of my passion for what I love to do: be creative.
One of the many things that I learned this semester is that the pandemic has put a lot of strain on the sports industry. While this wasn’t what I expected this internship to be like, I am still inspired and look forward to continuing my life in the sports industry, especially when life goes back to normal. In addition, between my experience trying to get an internship and my experience with the pandemic, I learned to just breathe. After my first try at an internship, I stressed, but eventually, everything ended up working out.
The moral of the story is that COVID-19 has been difficult from a college student’s perspective in many ways, but life goes on and everything happens for the best. I am so proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish despite these setbacks along the way. All of the experiences that I’ve had with my internship at Gotham FC have been so worth the wait and I’m thrilled for the opportunity that I received!