From the Disney College Program to the Philadelphia Flyers, La Salle University students are applying their education in new ways and in professional environments through various roles.
Madeline Fawcett, ’24, and Lauren Tirendi, ’24, are headed to Orlando, Fla., for eight months for the Disney College Program. Both students are involved with the Business Scholars Co-op Program on campus and heard about the program through the program’s director Penelope Grob.
Fawcett grew up in a “Disney family,” regularly visiting for vacation, she said, and felt the Disney College Program would be a way to utilize her studies as a marketing major. Tirendi, also a marketing major, thought the program sounded like a great networking and growth opportunity. With her parents’ support, she applied.
The two students received their assignments this May. Fawcett will be working in attractions and Tirendi will be in quick service food and beverage. They are excited to represent La Salle within a major global brand and gain real-world knowledge to help build their resumes.
“Gaining marketing experience is the goal,” Fawcett said.
“I’m really excited to be there,” Tirendi added.
Disney describes its program as a way for university students to “to gain on-the-job experience with a world-renowned company, providing uniquely Disney learning experiences, all while preparing for your future, building transferable skills, including networking, problem solving, teamwork and effective communication.”
Other Explorers are gaining internship experience closer to Philadelphia.
Makayla Brant, ’22, served this season as a game presentation and production intern with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. The communication major is interested in a career in sports.
“La Salle acts as a bridge between students and internship opportunities.”
“Game presentation is creating an unforgettable experience for the fans that are in the arena,” Brant said. “My dream, when I was in high school, was to work within the sports production of a professional sports organization. I read over the description and it was exactly the job I was looking for.”
Brant’s job duties involved collecting clips from games to use with in-arena graphics and sponsorships, and creating photo graphics. Much of what she’s learned in her La Salle coursework, including video and photo editing, helped her on the job with the Flyers.
Melissa Olimpo, ’23, is also interning for a Philadelphia sports team. She’s spending the summer working as a Ticket Services Representative with Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies. The communication major assists ticketholders with purchases and answers questions to improve their game experience.
For Olimpo, who also has worked as a 50/50 raffle ticket seller at Phillies games, this is another step into a career in sports marketing.
“I was initially interested in this internship because ticket sales is an entry-level position for most people who want to enter the sports world, so I knew this internship would give me the experience and confidence to apply for more opportunities in sports,” she said.
University students are interning locally at nonprofits, too.
Nya Griffin, ’23, worked with Face to Face during the Spring 2022 semester. The organization supports Germantown residents with a variety of services including food security, healthcare, and legal aid. Griffin assisted with various communication efforts, like preparing for the organization’s spring auction. A communication major, she said the experience helped her learn about nonprofit communications and possible professional opportunities. Griffin initially heard about the opportunity through an email from La Salle.
“La Salle acts as a bridge between students and internship opportunities,” she added.
Plus, with the rise of remote work, Explorers’ options for internships have grown.
Elizabeth Gilliland, ’23, is working in the programming and scheduling department with The Golf Channel. The communication major grew up on the golf course. Combining her loves of television production and the sport was the perfect fit, she said. Gilliland’s position with NBC Sports is remote, allowing her to create her own schedule. However, a typical week includes meeting with her advisor about assignments and assisting department members with various tasks.
“Over the length of the internship, I have had multiple large projects to complete,” she said. “One is assisting in creating the full 2023 Golf Channel schedule. I really enjoy the variety of projects and assignments I get to work on and my department is extremely supportive of the work I do,” she said.
Her La Salle education has helped Gilliland develop confidence and knowledge in her role. So much so, she said, she’s taken on another role with The Golf Channel for the summer months, and possibly beyond.
“This internship propelled me into another position with The Golf Channel,” she said. “I recently accepted a summer position with them in Orlando. Because of my previous experience and my performance as an intern this semester, I was accepted into this new position and I hope to continue working with The Golf Channel as a long-term career.”
— Meg Ryan