Katie Pfotzer | Echo
You see a flyer for an especially interesting job or competition. Usually you walk right by, but have you ever thought of stepping out of your comfort zone and just going for it? That's exactly what 25 Taylor students did when they applied for the 10 internship positions available with the Colts this year.
This summer, Ian Brown, ('09) graduate, came back with an opportunity for a handful of Taylor students. Brown's company, Intersport, an advertising and marketing agency in Chicago, represents American Family Insurance. The company was in need of brand ambassadors to work at Colts games in Indianapolis. In simple terms, a brand ambassador is a person paid to endorse a company or product. As a Taylor grad, Brown suggested offering the positions to students at his alma mater.
"He could have chosen any group, but he wanted to integrate Taylor students so they could have that kind of experience and opportunity that exists in marketing," Amy Stucky, assistant professor of sports management and one of the two professors involved, said.
Stucky and associate professor of business Jody Hirschy run the program together. They are both first-time leaders of a program of this kind. The program runs through fall semester 2018.
According to Hirschy, the internship is eight students working as brand ambassadors to provide customer experience.
The application process, according to Stucky, consisted of both the marketing and sports management departments taking resumes along with a brief description of why the student felt this would be a good experience for them.
According to senior Harrison Vandernoord, a participant in the internship, the job entails getting up early every time there is a Colts home game and driving to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis around 8 a.m. They then run a fan experience area, which integrates games for all audiences and surveys, as well as lead generation for the insurance company.
"I really enjoy being in downtown Indy and feeling the excitement of fans right before they get inside to watch the Colts," Vandernoord said.
It is exactly this integration of marketing and sports that both Stucky and Hirschy feel is what makes the program so unique. The students agree.
Vandernoord pointed out that he felt the experience was a great resume-builder as he moves forward to plans after college.
"The fact that I was able to work for a brand that is associated with the Colts, will speak a lot for my engagement with the community," Vandernoord said.
Stucky and Hirschy are both hoping to continue this program if its success continues. They both feel it is an excellent source of experience for students.
Vandernoord ended with this piece of wisdom for those pursuing a goal.
"Don't be afraid to pursue something that seems far fetched," Vandernoord said. "I didn't know whether or not I would get this job, but it sounded amazing, so I applied and God rewarded me for putting myself out there."