By Josh Cohen
April 6, 2017
ORLANDO – Sometimes all it takes is the right internship to launch a successful and rewarding career.
Especially for those hoping to work in professional sports, that first gig out of college is essential. It’s where you make connections, learn proper work habits, develop skills and gain invaluable knowledge about the sports industry.
The Orlando Magic Internship Program provides all of that and more. This season-long opportunity is ideal for those who recently graduated from college. The Magic are currently accepting resumes for each of their 20 different internship opportunities during the 2017-18 season. Learn more about each here.
Ginette Javier and Danielle Pechous, who have shared duties as interns in the Magic’s marketing strategy department this season, have each learned so much about team branding, advertising and other marketing initiatives. They have both played a huge role in overseeing specific mediums for products such as ticket sales, group and premium sales, retail, tourism and hospitality.
“You are given responsibilities, projects, and resources that are not available through an education or in your college sports career,” Javier said.
“During my season-long internship with the Magic, I have been able to assume responsibly for so many tasks and projects, which has allowed me to truly learn and grow in my particular area of marketing strategy as well as a sports professional overall,” Pechous added.
Aside from on-the-job training, Magic interns get to meet and learn from professional leaders during “Intern Training Camp.” Each month, the interns get the opportunity to sit down face-to-face with a member of the Magic Leadership Team and hear their career stories. It’s the perfect time to seek advice from industry leaders and bond with fellow interns.
The Magic also offer workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills. Other benefits include Magic game tickets, membership to the RDV Sportsplex (state-of-the-art athletic club) and a 40 percent discount on Orlando Magic merchandise.
Many current Magic full time employees started out as interns in the organization. Others have moved up the ranks in other companies. And just about all seemed to find their passion and discover their strengths during their internship with the Magic.
Danielle Lombari, who was an intern in marketing strategy two years ago, is now working full time for the Magic in client services. She says the internship gave her a ton of confidence and pushed her to grow.
“From the beginning of the internship, I was considered a part of the team – where I had a voice and the ability to contribute ideas and execute them,” Lombari said. “At previous internships I was merely a coffee runner. So, it was a relief to quickly find out that not only were the Magic going to impact me and my career, but that I would have a chance to impact the Magic as well.”
Many former interns through the years have kept in touch. Some even still work together on different projects. Current interns like Javier and Pechous are looking forward to what’s ahead.
“This internship has provided me with invaluable work experience and has definitely prepared me for a full-time job within the sports industry,” Pechous said. “As long as you work hard, the people in this organization really care about their intern’s success, and are more than willing to do everything they can to help you achieve your career goals after the internship.”
They also have plenty of advice to offer future interns, including effective ways to communicate with staff and to never be afraid to undertake new challenges. As Javier and Pechous have learned the past several months, it’s important to enjoy the journey, work hard and not expect everything to be handed to you as soon as you step into the ‘real world.’
“My advice to future Orlando Magic interns would be to always say ‘yes,’” Pechous said. “No matter what anyone in the organization asks you to do, always say ‘yes.’ The more you open yourself up to new situations and opportunities, the more you will get out of this internship and the more your hard work will be recognized.”
“Have fun, keep a positive attitude, and build your network because you never know who you’ll exchange contact information with,” Javier added.
An internship with the Magic lasts one year, but the experiences, insights, friendships, memories and rewards carry on forever.
“I now have a better understanding of what teams look for and am more confident in my skills as I move forward in my career,” Javier said. “Not only do I have a lot of great contacts, but I have an amazing organization on my resume that will grab the attention of potential employers.”