Community-Campus Internship

Written by: Christopher Mullen

Chris MullensMy name is Christopher Mullen and I am from Cheshire, CT. I worked this past summer as an intern for Husky Sport which is based out of Storrs, CT.  Husky Sport is a community-campus partnership that engages with partners located in Hartford, CT. I had the privilege of working with two community partners, Fred D. Wish School and the Hartford Catholic Worker in addition to my time in the office, on campus.

I began the summer at the Hartford Catholic Worker House, which is also referred to as the "Green House" where I worked with their after-school program until late June, when school came to an end. I then resumed working as a program leader for their summer camp beginning in early July. During this time I worked on a few small projects like constructing a four-square court and a volleyball court for the children to learn more about and enjoy. Prior to school getting out, I also assisted Wish's Physical Education teacher, Ms. Nelson, with her daily gym classes. I learned a lot on how to structure classes from Ms. Nelson, and by the end of the year, she invited me to share my own ideas for activities and I even got to run my own classes. The Wish School has students from grades pre-kindergarten to eight, which gave me experience working with a wide range of ages.

My favorite part of working at the school was the field day, where students were split up by grade and mixed into groups that combined current Fred D. Wish students and students from another local school, in an effort to meet new friends.  The goal of field day was that each student would make an effort to become friends with someone from the opposite school while playing all the fun field games together.

On the days that I wasn't programming, I spent time in the office on campus. I helped create a project which provides  school teachers a list of games on what's called “activity menus” and is intended to help teachers generate ideas while getting the kids active.  Each menu offered a structured play idea, game suggestions and the rules. Games include both inside and outside space options, as well as a variety of age appropriate modifications to satisfy kindergarten through eighth grade students. I also utilized Adobe In-Design in coordination with program leaders, graduate assistants and other staff members to publish end-of-the-year program reports for each of Husky Sport programs. Finally, I had the opportunity to engage in a number of fundraising efforts to close out this past semester’s Ignite Fundraiser and prepare for next year’s upcoming plans.

I am very fortunate to have had such a unique position created for me with an organization that I have come to love so much. Through this opportunity I learned the importance of communication and how rewarding it can be working with children and with that, the patience that it requires. I am also glad to have had the chance to work behind the scenes in more of an administrative role. The balance was amazing and I would like to find a career where I can utilize a similar engagement style. One of my proudest takeaways is that I was able to learn the Adobe In-Design program when responsible for coordinating the publishing of the Husky Sport program reports. This exposed me to a lot of graphic designing and how visual presentation can impact how media is interpreted. This is something that I hope to explore further in my career in sports marketing. I aspire to pursue a position working with the best and brightest professionals to help build some of the most powerful brands and marketing to consumers. As a young professional, I am eager to learn all there is to know about the sports industry.