Ryan Hyndman is a fourth-year Sport Management student at Brock University, who took on the role of CSC Marketing, Communications, and Business Development Coordinator (Intern), as part of an experiential education credit. Read to learn Ryan’s thoughts after completing his Internship with the Centre for Sport Capacity.
Are you a student looking to get involved and gain valuable experience? Look no further than the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC).
I cannot believe that my time with the CSC is complete after the fastest four months of my life comes to a close! Doing this Sport Management internship with the CSC has certainly been a highlight throughout my time at Brock University. My experience with the Centre provided valuable exposure to many aspects of the sport industry, which allowed me to develop a wide variety of skills that will help me become a better sport manager throughout my career.
In terms developing skills, communications was my most significant area of improvement. Under the guidance of Dr. Julie Stevens, Director and Cole McClean, Coordinator, I learned that being detail oriented when it comes to comms work is extremely important. Whether it is putting out a social media post or even just sending an email to someone for the first time, it is critical that the goal of what you are trying to say lands with the reader. Essentially, you need to write so that others pay attention, and I developed this ability from my time with the CSC.
Much of my communications work was the result of being the hands-on lead for social media throughout the summer. I created a comprehensive social media schedule that would house all the information needed for a post until it was ready to be posted. I was responsible for the creation and distribution of more than 50 posts over two social media channels (Twitter and LinkedIn). This contributed to the CSC growing to 455 combined, social media followers and gaining more than 120,000 social media impressions since August 2020.
I contributed to almost all aspects of the CSC in my tasks this summer and it made me a more well-rounded professional. Having the exposure to a wide variety of tasks not only allowed me to develop many new skills, but also allowed me to discover what areas I enjoy and might want to pursue as a career. I learned that data collection and analysis tasks exist in the sport industry and are something that I enjoy. Being able to locate, analyze, and organize information and data using the appropriate technology helped me discover that tasks related to that skill may be a job I want to pursue.
For data management, two experiences influenced my attraction to these tasks. First, I conducted an extensive CSC metrics tracking initiative where I gathered data on many different aspects of growth within the Centre. For example, social media metrics such as followers, likes, shares/retweets, impressions and engagements were all compiled. Alternatively, I also worked on an industry research project for Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO). Through the CSC’s partnership with Community Researchers, I participated in a four-part research training program. In these sessions I learned how to interact with a client, create an effective survey, analyze the data using spreadsheets, and present the data in report form. These projects were some of my favourite responsibilities this summer and directly contributed to the development of hard skills in the area of data management.
Students may believe that an Internship within Brock may not provide as much exposure into the industry as other organizations, but that was not the case. I was introduced to many industry professionals with plenty of different backgrounds. Being able to pick their brains on their expertise helped immensely when working through tasks. The combination of exposure to professors and professionals shaped me with a multidimensional perspective of the of the sport industry, which will make me a unique job candidate.
My advice for students is, if you have the opportunity to get involved with the CSC, jump at the experience and continue to develop an extensive network of professionals that have a vast range of industry knowledge. Specifically, marketing and communications are functional areas where the CSC provides massive opportunity to take the next step in terms of skill development. The best times I’ve had in both high school and university are when I participated in extracurriculars and opportunities such as this position. It is important to take advantage of an experience like this when it is available because I genuinely feel as though I have a competitive advantage over my peers with what I have gained by working with the CSC.
If you are interested in connecting with the CSC, visit the CSC website for any placement/volunteer positions or directly reach out by submitting an intake form. A CSC team member will be happy to follow up with you.