Tusculum College student Aly Carrino has checked one item off her Christmas list early this year. She was notified in late October that she had been selected from among the pool of national candidates for an internship opportunity at college football’s Discover Orange Bowl football game.
While working during the Christmas holidays might not be on the average college student’s Christmas list, for Carrino, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.
“This is an opportunity to work for a high profile organization, and it is an experience that will definitely benefit me in the future,” said Carrino, a senior sports management major from Greeneville. “This opportunity will help me as I look at applying for graduate programs and in my future employment.”
According to Dr. Dale Gibson, professor of physical education at Tusculum College and coordinator of the sports management internship program, these types of experiences make all the difference for students seeking careers in sports management.
“Internships in this field are extremely important. It is extremely difficult in this day and age to get a job in sports management; however, 60 percent of students who are placed in an internship are either offered full-time employment or develop a network that leads to employment,” Gibson said. Tusculum College students have worked in internships at places such as Duke University, the Professional Golf Association and the National Basketball Association.
Carrino credits Tom Ferguson, president of the Greene County Partnership and Tusculum College Board of Trustee member, Dr. Gibson, and the other professors in the Physical Education and Sports Management programs at Tusculum College for preparing her for the internship and future success.
“Tom really got the whole process started and helped me work through the process,” said Carrino, who interned this summer at the Greene County Partnership. It was during this internship that she met Ferguson and he became aware of her potential.
“Aly’s work for us this summer was exceptional,” said Ferguson. “She was professional, prepared and worked as hard as anyone. Because I knew her potential, I felt she would be a good candidate for the Orange Bowl Committee opportunity.”
Ferguson, a lifetime member of the Orange Bowl Committee, recommended that Carrino apply for the internship and advised her on the process.
During her summer internship she worked with the Tourism Department, particularly on Sports Council events such as the NAIA golf championship.
As part of her duties during the December 25 to January 9 Discover Orange Bowl internship, Carrino will assist the Host Committee for the Orange Bowl and the Orange Bowl staff with functions of hosting the teams in the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl. She will assist with hospitality services for student-athletes and guests, work with transportation and interact with Orange Bowl Committee members, coaches, athletic administrators and student-athletes, as well as work on set-ups and coordination of various Discover Orange Bowl events. This is the 80th year for the Discover Orange Bowl game.
According to both Ferguson and Gibson, Carrino is remarkable and her intelligence and willingness to work hard are what made her a good candidate for the internship.
“I have had some really good students, but occasionally I see a remarkable one, and Aly is one of those,” said Gibson. “She has good grades and is a high achiever, but she also understands the practitioner’s side, the importance of being able to convey the theory into practice.”
Following graduation from Tusculum, Carrino plans to attend graduate school, seeking a master’s degree in sports management, as well as a master’s in business administration. She is currently looking at programs that allow the dual option, including the University of Tennessee, Florida State University, George Washington University and James Madison University.
“I’m interested in all aspects of sports, particularly professional sports or sports program management at the college level,” she said. “My programs at Tusculum College have prepared me for what’s ahead, and I have learned so much here.”