As my junior year was coming to a close, I knew that I wanted to spend my upcoming summer doing something that would not only build my resume, but would also allow me to gain experience. Interning for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, I was able to do that and so much more.
The tasks assigned to me as the promotions intern ranged from public relations to event production and organization, and even allowed me to hold national anthem tryouts. I would get to be on the field and address the entire crowd, which oftentimes was more than 5,000 people.
Yet the biggest takeaway from my experience was feeling like an integral, valued and respected member of a team, fully immersed in the organization, and making memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
I was one of about 20 interns with positions ranging from food services/hospitality, to facility management, to videography and production. I truly believe the interns play a huge role in the success of the RedHawks organization. Having this responsibility made us strive to do better because we knew there was a lot expected from each of us in order for the organization to run smoothly.
I will admit not all days were "sunshine and daisies." My fellow interns and I often spent 14-hour days and 72-hour weeks at the ballpark, while our friends spent their days lounging at the lake. Those long days were often followed by nights of picking up sticky, hot, messy, garbage out of the stands when we were short on cleaning staff. Although none of us enjoyed picking the stands, we never questioned our orders or complained about not being treated fairly because all of the full-time staff – who worked even longer hours than us – were right by our sides helping with the dirty work as well.
Working for the RedHawks organization taught me so much: humility, work ethic, sacrifice, responsibility, organization, the list goes on and on. I undoubtedly recommend that every student take part in at least one fully immersive internship in their field before they are finished with college. I think internships are the only true way to witness what "a day in the life" is like. This internship also helped me to understand my strengths, my areas of opportunity, and what I did and did not like to do. I also learned that it is OK not to like some things; finding out what you don't like is part of the process to discovering what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.
Finding out what you don't like is part of the process to discovering what you want to spend the rest of your life doing. – Liz Knisley
I learned while interning for the RedHawks that I didn’t want to have a career where I worked weekends and odd hours, which made it evident that I may want to rethink working in the sports industry. This awareness led me to apply for a position with more standard office hours. I also unearthed that my favorite part of my job was interaction with people, so I knew that I wanted that to be a large part of my future.
These realizations helped lead me to Microsoft in Fargo. I am currently an inside opportunity executive at one of only two Microsoft Inside Sales Centers in the world.
My internships along with my education at Concordia have molded me into who I am today. Although committing so much time and energy to my education and resume building wasn’t easy, in the end it has all been worth it to get me where I am now.
Liz Knisely '16 graduated with a degree in communication and now works at Microsoft.