Interning with Asia League Basketball

Having the opportunity to work internationally is not unheard of when pursuing a degree in sport and this summer, three Sport Management students gained experience working abroad with Asia League, a start-up basketball company tasked with organizing some of Asia’s elite basketball clubs.  

Ivy Kim during her summer internship in Hong Kong with the Asia Basketball League
Photo credit: Ivy Kim

Undergraduates Dike Wei and Ivy Kim, along with graduate student Enbo Liu, each having roots in various parts of China, (Dike with Guangdong, Ivy with Taiwan, and Enbo with Xi’an) share their experiences as they branched out from their lifestyle in Connecticut to gain professional experience with sport in China.  

Despite interning for the same organization, Wei and Liu worked in Hangzhou while Kim worked at the league’s headquarters in Hong Kong. Although each of them recognized a strong and unique culture within Asia League, many of their tasks and responsibilities differed from their previous experiences working in sport.

Kim, who has worked with UConn's Women's Basketball for three years noted, 

“I remember our first game venue visit, which was only a month away from the tournament. I was surprised by the limited resources we were given and how much we had to do, to literally setup and brand the venue for the tournament, from scratch.”

Throughout the summer, the students worked with the event, facility and basketball operations side of the league with tasks that included setting up, facilitating, and managing events.  They also assisted in the production of the Summer Super 8 event in Macau, China. Macau, also known as the ‘Las Vegas of the East’ for its hub of gambling and entertainment, brought Wei, Kim, and Liu together for what they considered their favorite and most beneficial week of their internship.  

Not only was the Summer Super 8 event a memorable experience for them, seeing the organizational culture within each of their work spaces contributed to their deeper understanding of how the event came to fruition.  The organization was founded by American native, Matt Beyer, who was a former sports agent from Wisconsin. His influence and knowledge in the Chinese socioeconomic environment led to the creation of Asia League’s inaugural season last year.  Beyer combines American and Chinese cultures which contributes to the league’s success and development. Wei describes this experience as “a feeling like we were building the culture ourselves” with mention to a ‘laid back’ environment that allowed the interns to feel like they had a big impact on the organization.

Their experiences were not limited to the workplace, rather intrinsically allowed them to travel to various places abroad.  Macau was a great point of discussion as it featured an unforgettable opportunity to hang out with some of China’s premiere basketball players. For Kim, this experience was the perfect way to get closer to her coworkers and fellow interns, stating,

“Our time in Macau really brought everyone together, despite the long hours, everyone’s dedication inspired us to reach the daily goal, together.”

- Ivy Kim

west-lake-hangzhou-china-For Wei and Liu, one of their favorite places in Hangzhou was West Lake, an area known for its rich history and unique relics.  It is here that Liu was drawn to the Chinese garden landscape that reminded him of the famous French painter, Monet, expressing, “If Monet had lived in the West Lake for a month, I believe he could have created [even] more extraordinary masterpieces.” Indulging in West Lake’s art and historical culture is just another example of the benefits to obtaining an internship abroad.  UConn’s Sport Management program encourages students to maximize their internship experiences both professionally and culturally.

Sport is powerful and allows for people with varying differences to unite over a common interest.  This summer, our interns used their athletic interests to drive past some language barriers within the league.  Kim admitted that her unfamiliarity with Cantanese served as an obstacle when communicating with clients, suppliers, and even some of China’s professional basketball players, but she was still able to adapt and work through this challenge.  Various languages were utilized throughout the organization, but English was the main method of communication due to its heavy influence by the NBA Summer League. Despite the league’s language barriers, basketball serves as the universal language and is what drives their goals of increasing its marketing presence in Asia.

When you combine a sport management background, the ability to speak more than one language, and exuding confidence built off experiences like this, Sport Management students are bound for success. Asia League is only one example of where sport can lead you but this year our students returned with immense growth, both personally and professionally.


Asia League is currently looking for summer 2019 interns.  Please review this internship description if you're interested in applying.

Paul Wettemann Interns with the Brooklyn Nets Facility Operations Department

Written By: Paul WettemannPaul Wettemann, Sport Management undergraduate student, interns with the Brooklyn Nets Facility Operations Department.

My name is Paul Wettemann and I am from Guilford, Conn. This summer, I was a Facility Operations Intern with the Brooklyn Nets at their HSS Training Center in Brooklyn, New York. I was connected with my supervisor for this internship through one of my fellow UConn Sport Management classmates who interned with the Nets last summer. From there, I sent over my resume and spoke to him over the phone. I was then offered the position.

At my internship, I helped my supervisor and others on my staff in the day to day upkeep of the facility. This included tasks such as making sure the court was properly cleaned and maintained, ensuring that staff and player technology was working properly and guaranteeing that all equipment on the court was intact (nets on practice hoops, cardio equipment, etc.). In this position, I was able to gain a strong insight as to what facility managers do each day and what their major duties are. I also helped with setting up and coordinating sponsor events that were held at the training facility. I was given the opportunity to be the event manager for one of those events, as well as help with a few others. This gave me an opportunity to see how events are run with a professional franchise as well as understand all that goes into consideration when trying to provide a valuable experience for sponsors and other partners.

Photo of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York taken by Paul Wettemann during his summer internship with the Brooklyn Nets.In addition to those events, I assisted in the setup and coordination for various player, general manager and coaching press conferences throughout the summer. This gave me an opportunity to see how the organization and its events functioned on an even larger scale, taking into consideration the media/press, as well as more specific staff needs. I also had the opportunity to network with various professionals that worked for Nets. I was able to meet people who worked in Facility Operations, Public Relations, Basketball Operations, Human Resources, as well as many other departments. It was a great experience and everyone who I interacted with during the summer was friendly and provided me with helpful advice. I was able to visit the Barclays Center on multiple occasions, for a tour and networking opportunity as well as an opportunity to volunteer at a Brooklyn Boxing event for the Event Services department.

My internship in Facility Operations allowed me to understand the full scope of the operations department of a professional franchise in facility maintenance as well as event management. I had experience in events before, but I have now had the opportunity to delve into facilities and learn more about the other side of operations. I am certainly interested in working in operations for a professional franchise in the future. I am now looking forward to building upon my knowledge in the sport industry during my senior year at school, through working with athletic operations and as a student manager for the men’s basketball team.

Rosalie Pisano Interns with the Connecticut Tigers minor league baseball team

Written by: Rosalie Pisano

My name is Rosalie Pisano and I am from Bainbridge Island, Washington. This summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the minor league baseball team the Connecticut Tigers. The Tigers are the Single-A short season affiliate to the Detroit Tigers. The team plays in Norwich, about 35 minutes from UConn. I was able to use my connections with the Sport Management program at UConn to get this internship. A fellow classmate, Paul Wettemann, interned for the Tigers the summer prior to my year, and he put me in touch with the general manager of the organization.Rosalie Pisano interning with the Connecticut Tigers minor league baseball team.

Over the summer, I experienced a lot of different things with the Tigers. The stadium was host to the Northeastern Conference Championship for baseball at the very beginning of my internship. Before that, I helped to prepare the stadium for the upcoming season. During the season, I was able to try out many different parts to running a baseball team, from ticket sales and merchandising to promotions and front office work. This internship also taught me a lot about event planning, and all that goes into planning an event. Toward the end of the summer, the stadium hosted the Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Softball Classic. Many professional athletes participated in the event, including some big names.

Looking back on my internship experience, I have learned how hard it is to run a minor league organization. Everyone in the organization loved what he or she was doing, and was willing to spend countless hours bettering the team. They helped me to learn more about what I want to do and who I want to be post graduation. I enjoyed helping to plan a lot of the events because, once it comes around, all of the hard work pays off into one culminating day. I also really enjoyed running the social media and thinking of fun new ways to increase our platform’s following. Looking forward, I think that I want to work more on the media and public relations side of things. Though I really enjoyed working for a baseball team, I think I would like to be more on the player side of things. I am interested in pursuing a career in player relations for a sport apparel company, or media relations in the sport field for a professional team.

Aaron Smith Interns with the Travelers Championship in Connecticut

Written by: Aaron Smith

My name is Aaron Smith and I am from Suffield, Conn. This past summer I took part in an internship with the Travelers Championship, located in Cromwell, Conn. I learned of the internship opportunity a few years ago during a Sport Business Association meeting, and decided to apply for the position last fall. I took part in an extensive hiring process that included submitting a recommendation, cover letter and resume, being brought in for an interview and having been told to create a presentation that was due 24 hours after the interview. A month later, I received an email congratulating me on having been accepted into the Travelers Championship internship pTravelers Championship Internship group photo, summer 2017rogram!

My internship was different than other summer internships in that it started in late January. I began working in the championship’s Hartford office as a member of the sales team. Working directly under both Directors of Business Development, I was charged with a wide variety of tasks throughout the semester. These responsibilities ranged from simply sending emails and making calls to hundreds upon hundreds of prospective partners, to researching new clients, drafting presentations and offering my valued opinions and suggestions on ways to make the tournament more successful. Once we moved out of the Hartford office and down to the tournament site in Cromwell, my responsibilities were widened to include setting up the tournament, traveling with my supervisors to attend meetings with partners and serving as the tournament contact for several events during tournament week.

This internship was an invaluable hands-on learning experience and one that taught me a great deal about the sport industry that I did not and could not have already known. An event the magnitude of the Travelers Championship demands unbelievable amounts of preparation. All of the staff and interns must be willing to put in extreme amounts of time and effort for it to be a success. When all was said and done, my personal reward was an incredible feeling of accomplishment, and the assurance that I was on the right career path. I feel very strongly that I want to be a part of a professional sport organization in a sales or marketing role, and I could not be more ready to further my education this year toward that goal.

Theresa Knutson: Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Summer Intern

Written by: Theresa Knutson

My name is Theresa Knutson and I am currently a senior at the University of Connecticut. This summer I was an intern at the WIAA, the association for high school athletics in Wisconsin. I worked at the organization’s headquarters in Stevens Point Wisconsin. My father is on the board of control for Wisconsin athletics and has a meeting once a month at the headquarters. Because of the connections he established with many of the employees, I was able to meet them and after applying was asked asked to help work this summer.

State baseball tournament stadiumThis summer started off very busy because the state track tournament was held two weeks after I started my internship. It was an amazing experience to help get everything ready for the tournament, including getting every team’s packet filled and typing the information that they would need regarding the meet. I also had to email the participating schools to get the pole vault sheets to make sure that everyone followed the rules. I was also able to sit in on the track seeding for the state tournament and was in charge of organizing any extra qualifiers. Each of the three divisions participating in the tournament only had three extra qualifiers. Because the tournament is run mostly by volunteers, there is a volunteer breakfast held in the morning that I helped out at and then headed over to the track to get ready. On Friday of that weekend, I was responsible for handing out medals. It was awesome to do put medals around these athletes and see how grateful they were after receiving one. On Saturday, I measured the triple jump. This was very cool to do because they had an electronic measuring kit, which made it easy to work with.

The state softball tournament was the next big event for the summer, which was very interesting to see how it was run and how different the process was from the track meet. During playoffs, The WIAA is responsible for scheduling the umpires, an extremely difficult process because you have to ensure that the umpires have no conflicts with the team, that they are not traveling too far to umpire a game and that they do not umpire the same team during the playoffs. It was nice to help with this because it took a lot of organization and planning and I felt very valued because I had my own division to work on and I accomplished it.

Steph Hauser, my supervisor who is in charge of softball, said that the umpire hiring process went more smoothly this year than in the past. At the tournament, I was in charge of making sure that the time between innings ran smoothly because they had only allotted about a minute of time between innings. I also spent a lot of time working directly with umpires and getting them water or towels throughout the game. I gained a lot of connections through this, which will definitely help me if I want to further my career in high school athletics.

Working at the USA Central District Hockey CampThough these tournaments were the big projects that I worked on this summer, I also helped with in creating a new football project. I was responsible for emailing every school to get updated photos of their football facilities so that we could figure out which schools stadiums to use during playoffs. I also spent time working on the cross-country archives booklet, the state baseball tournament and was lucky enough to go to the National Federation of high school sports annual conference. I also worked at a weeklong USA hockey camp for the Midwest with high school aged players.

I was able to take away and learn a lot from this internship. I saw how much goes into high school athletics from a school, state and countrywide aspect and it was fascinating because I was able to see how much the organization is dedicated to the kids and not to making money. I learned that while working in athletics, every person is valued and encouraged to share his or her own opinions. I was able to gain confidence during my internship because I was given responsibility. I can now see myself working in high school athletics after having this summer internship because I felt excited to go to work every day. I can see myself pursuing a career as an executive director or working for the NFHS itself, but I am fully aware that I will have to work from the bottom and make strong connections in order to get to that position.

Kyle Caron and Maddy Hooper team up as interns at The First Tee in Connecticut

Kyle Cooper during his internship experience, golfing summer 2017Written by: Kyle Caron

My name is Kyle Caron and I am a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, having received my Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. This past summer, I interned with The First Tee of Connecticut in Cromwell, Conn., this region’s chapter of the international First Tee organization. The First Tee is an organization that focuses on teaching the game of golf and instilling important life skills in young players. During my time there, I was able to gain experience in many aspects of running a non-profit organization such as marketing, financial development and community outreach.

For the first half of my internship, I worked in several community outreach efforts. This included going to different golf courses to teach clinics to children who may have not had access to the game otherwise as well as attending networking and marketing fairs to organize demo stations for kids to play in while I explained to their parents what The First Tee is all about. I also spent time volunteering at various tournaments throughout the state, as a representative of the organization, to help foster relationships with local golf clubs to attempt to spread the word about our programs and attract new students. I spent the second half of my internship working as a counselor for our Summer Camp program where I supervised campers and taught them ways and techniques to improve their game.

My time spent with The First Tee of Connecticut allowed me to learn more about what it takes to run a golf and youth development organization, specifically a non-profit one. As a non-profit organization targeted at kids who want to learn the game, I saw how creating relationships with other organizations in the community could be just as beneficial to an organization’s reputation as a large marketing campaign. I also saw the impact that sports can have on the development of a child’s life by teaching them ethics and values to live by such as respect, perseverance and integrity. Many of the kids who came up through The First Tee program are now successful college students with plenty of accolades and scholarships that reflect the character that our programs assisted in building. Because of the effects I saw due to children’s involvement with The First Tee, I would like to further pursue a career in sport-based youth development and try to make that same difference in the lives of future generations. Working with The First Tee of Connecticut was a valuable and enriching experience, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Written by: Maddy Hooper

My name is Maddy Hooper and I am from West Hartford, Conn. I did my summer internship at The First Tee of Connecticut, which is located in Cromwell on the grounds of TPC River Highlands. I first saw the position of Community Outreach Intern for this summer in one of the Sport Management weekly newsletters. I noticed it one day over Christmas break and immediately emailed Mark, my boss from this summer, and sent in my application. I interviewed for the position at the end of March and found out a week later that I gotten the position.

Golfer on a beautiful day during summer 2017 internship experienceI did a lot of different things this summer. In my first few weeks before the kids came for the summer, we worked with children after school and completed tasks around the office. A few of the big projects that I completed during this time were reorganizing all of the closets and storage spaces in our building. The week before school got out was the week of the Travelers Championship. This was truly the busiest week of my life. We ran a ton of events that week and worked all over the course during the pro-am and tournament. This week was really cool for me because I met tons of important people in the golf world including the president of the PGA Paul Levy, and many professional golfers, such as Rory Mclroy and Paul Casey. Once school got out, I really began the work that I did this summer. For the remainder of the summer, I spent most of my time at different summer camps all over the state giving golf lessons. I went to places like Camp Courant, Channel 3 Kids Camp and Boys and Girls Club of New Haven.

My main takeaway from this summer is that it’s important to be helpful in every way possible. I became really close with everyone that I worked with and the full-time employees called me “the best intern ever.” I think they called me this because I was willing to do anything they asked me to do and did everything to the best of my ability, even if some days this was just sorting golf balls and moving cases of water. You can really leave your mark in a place by doing more then what is asked of you and making positive and friendly impressions. I hope to use the skills that I learned this summer and bring them with me as I pursue a career in non-profit youth development. The First Tee or any organization similar is where I would love to end up after graduation.

Kelly Andujar Interns at Stonehill Sports Camps

Written by: Kelly Andujar

Spending my summer working for the 2017 Stonehill Sports Camps has been one of the most important learning experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to work with a group of staff that I now consider family. My time working for the sports camps consisted of long hours and sleepless nights. My goal for the internship was to learn about the administrative side of the sports industry and in doing so, I gained valuable experience in marketing, customer service, event organization and coach communication.

I learned quickly that people often notice when tasks are done with half-effort. I worked for the camps with the mentality that I would give it my best and soak up as much knowledge as possible. Without the support of my fellow interns and work-study students, I would not be where I am today. We relied on each other during difficult times and trusted each other’s judgment. No one can be successful alone, and I’ve learned more from my peers than I could have ever imagined. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and thought critically about my role in the sports camps. I recognized my strengths and weaknesses and held myself to the highest standards of professionalism.   

Although I constantly received praise during my internship, I always wanted to find ways in which I could improve. I became heavily invested in the sports camps and felt personally responsible for its successes and failures. There were instances in which I felt like I needed to do everything to make sure the day ran smoothly. This wasn’t due to a lack of trust between my fellow colleagues but rather my “do it all” mindset. I could have reached out to my coworkers for a lending hand and to share some of the responsibilities. I am constantly learning and growing and will use this experience as a tool to improve.

The internship was also very time-consuming and I rarely had time off. Courtney Osier, my supervisor and sports camps coordinator, noticed how much I was working and knew when I need time to myself. I learned that taking time off is important for peace of mind and personal development. As I prepare for life after college, this experience has shaped my understanding of the work force. The sports industry is growing competitively every day and I want to stick out as a “must-have” candidate. I want to show future employers my diverse skill sets and abilities. This experience was more of a “resume-builder,” but will allow me to jump start and be prepared for a future career in athletics. Lastly, I would like to thank Courtney Osier for believing in me and allowing me the opportunity to grow as a young man. I am forever grateful.

Maggie McEvilly Interns in the WHDH TV Sports Department in Boston

Written by: Maggie McEvilly

My name is Maggie McMaggie McEvilly on the field at Gillette Stadium during the New England Patriots pre-season opener. Evilly and I am senior at the University of Connecticut studying Sport Management and Journalism. I hope to pursue a career in the sports broadcasting industry upon graduation and spent this past summer interning with the sports department at WHDH TV Channel 7 in Boston. During the few months that I spent with the station, I learned about the inner-workings of the broadcast industry and how to one day become a successful sports reporter.

Both of the sports producers that I worked with every day were very helpful in teaching me how to write television packages for sports in a conversational and casual tone, something that I struggled with initially due to my prior experience with written journalism. My favorite aspect of interning with WHDH Sports this summer was getting the opportunity to go out into the field and experience what it’s like as a reporter on a normal day, from start to finish. Whether it was at a Red Sox game or Patriots training camp, I was able to be fully immersed in the action, whether it was during pre and post game interviews and press conferences in the locker rooms and clubhouses, on the field during games and practices or in media workrooms at the end of each day to watch the writing and editing processes.

7 News Station in Boston, Mass.

Although I worked primarily with Chelsi McDonald during my time at my internship, one of the three sports reporters at the station, all of the anchors were extremely helpful and accommodating with all that I did this summer.  They thoroughly explained everything that they did while they were doing it so that I was able to both observe and understand, encouraging me to ask any and all questions that I had. One instance of this was when I filmed my first stand-up at the Patriots first preseason game. Although I was extremely nervous and anxious to be on camera for the first time, especially as I was surrounded by professional sports reporters on the field, both Chelsi and our sports photographer encouraged me that I could do it, making me feel confident enough in my own abilities to be successful in doing so. Although they probably do not know how much that specific moment meant to me, it was one of the best from the entire summer because I felt as though I could experience for the first time what it would be like to have a career in this field, and knew that I had the full support of professional reporters to help me get there.  I truly think that this internship has prepared me for a career in the sports broadcasting industry in the near future, as I know now what will be expected of me in an entry-level position and all that I have to do now to be successful in earning one.

Cristina Vincente Interns as UConn Sport Management’s Event Planner

Written by: Cristina Vincente

Having grown up in Mansfield, Conn., my entire life has lead me to create a special bond with the University of Connecticut. After being accepted into the UConn Sport Management program and becoming a Digital Media Creative Team intern during my second semester in the program, that bond with this school and this program has only grown stronger. This summer, I was fortunate enough to build upon this bond while interning with the programs’ department head, Dr. Jennifer McGarry, to plan events for the Sport Management program. I was able to obtain this internship with the help of both Dr. McGarry and Digital Media Manager Nellie Schafer. They were aware of my passion for working with social media and event planning, and therefore lead me into this current position as event manager for Sport Management. I have been working right on campus, in Storrs, to plan alumni events and expand our program’s social and digital media efforts.

Sport Managemnt Event in Hartford
Sport Management alumni and friends gathered for an evening of networking on Aug. 24, 2017.

So far this summer, I have coordinated the Sport Management Alumni event that was held in New York City toward the end of June. In addition to planning it, I also was able to attend the actual event which was an amazing experience that connected me with a lot of alumni from the program. I also planned an alumni networking event that was held in Hartford, Conn. at the end of August as well as the 2017 Master’s Orientation that took place during the first week of the semester. I am currently in the process of planning this fall’s Career Night in Sport, which will be held in October. While establishing all of these events, I have been collaborating with several different individuals to figure out logistics for everything from food and catering, to photos at the event, to sending out invites. The event planning aspect of my internship has certainly been rewarding and a great experience.

Along with planning the events, part of my internship has included conducting several job interviews. I met with a variety of women working in different fields of the industry who were all at different stages in their respective careers. Speaking to such successful professionals exposed me to many career paths and opportunities. Each professional provided me with great advice and encouraged me to find my own path.

In addition to the events, job interviews and valuable connections, I have been continuing working with the Sport Management Digital Media Creative Team. As an intern for the team last spring semester and this coming fall, I have been helping to keep the program’s Twitter and Instagram actively engaged throughout the summer months. I have been able to highlight the events that I planned, use connections with alumni to feature them on our platforms and have been researching interesting topics and events in the sport world to feed our Twitter campaign, #EngageInTheDialogue.

The Digital Media Creative Team during last spring’s Sport Management Send-Off event.

There have been so many valuable takeaways from this internship for me. I have learned that the connections you make and the relationships you build in the sport industry are what will take you a long way in your future career. I have also learned a lot about appropriate etiquette for professional communication. Having to constantly communicate with the faculty, alumni, vendors and others in the field has taught me how to communicate effectively, whether it is via email, phone or an in person conversation.

Finally, I would say that one of the biggest learning experiences from all of the job interviews that I conducted is to stay true to who I am. Everyone has varying likes and interests and therefore everyone will have a different career path and different goals that cater to them. This has been an important lesson for me to learn as I enter my senior year and think of my future beyond undergrad and the path that I want to create for myself. I have enjoyed this experience in event planning and hope to continue along that same path as I more forward in my career. I hope to stay on the athletic side of events, because I love the atmosphere of working game days and just being around the excitement of sports. I love the unique connections that sport creates between people of different genders, ages, races, ethnicities, religions and much more. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity and I am very excited for how it will affect my post-graduate future plans.

Jackie Kelly Interns with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN

Story written by: Jackie Kelly 

After graduating from the University of Hartford, I was able to accept a position with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN.  The NCAA offers a postgraduate cohort based internship program that works with various departments throughout the national office. I worked as an intern for the Leadership Development department, which was responsible primarily for creating professional development programming for student-athletes, coaches, interns, graduate assistants and administrators across the NCAA membership.

Many of my daily tasks were focused on preparing for our programs. While working on site, I facilitated activities, panels and group discussions. I really enjoyed traveling to each of the programs, my favorite of which was the Pathway Program. This specific program is a yearlong professional development series held for senior level administrators aspiring to become athletic directors. I spent the majority of my time working on logistics, but was able to sit in on mock interviews and media training sessions as well. We were also able to take site visits to Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory and Clayton State University. During our time at these universities, the participants met with presidents, athletics directors and other current staffers. I was able to sit in on some of these conversations and presentations, which was extremely informative and allowed me to gain some valuable experience.

Over the course of that year I was able to create memories and relationships that I know will last a lifetime. My fellow interns in my cohort were and will always be like my family. Having been granted the opportunity to understand the NCAA from a national, internal perspective so soon after actually being a student athlete was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always treasure.