“I was going to be the best intern they ever had and was willing to work in any and all facets of the company.”
Niki, a junior English major at the University of Delaware, dreamed of interning for Madison Square Garden Company in New York City. This summer, with a proactive mindset and the determination to show what she could do, Niki took the extra steps needed in making sure her dream came true.
As this week’s UD Intern, Niki shares with us her internship experience, how it’s helped her step out of her comfort zone, and what professional skills she’s learned in the process. The advice she shares with us in her interview is helpful for anybody seeking a similar internship/career path who may not know how to make their dreams turn into realities.
With an internship at Madison Square Garden Company under her belt, Niki faces her future with confidence that if she dreams it, she can do it. Keep reading to learn more about how Niki landed her internship, what she learned from it, and how it’s helped her to get to where she is today!
Want to be featured as one of our Blue Hen Intern Snapshots for a future blog post? Email Keri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Major: English with a Film concentration and a Journalism minor
Expected Year of Graduation: 2015
Where did you intern? The Madison Square Garden Company in New York City.
How did you hear about your internship? Explain the interview process, as well.
I have always wanted to work for The Madison Square Garden Company, so I went on their website and looked up their internship opportunities. I applied to as many of them as I could. I had many different interviews before I wound up getting hired. I actually had interviews for three positions in total, because they kept hiring someone else. This, in hindsight, was a blessing in disguise, because I was able to interview for three completely different divisions within the company (Marketing for The New York Rangers, PR for The Rockettes, and Sales for MSG Media), and thus had to change my tactic each time. But, they all started out with phone interviews with the Human Resource department. From there, I had phone interviews with The New York Rangers Marketing director, an in person interview with the PR director and VP of PR for The Rockettes, and a phone interview with the director of Sales for MSG Media, who ultimately became my boss.
What were your responsibilities as an intern?
As an intern, I was responsible for many different things. I attended the weekly operations meeting every Wednesday with all of the sales coordinators, the director of sales (my boss), and the traffic department. I typed up the notes and sent them out to everyone. I also pulled reports every week and sent them out to everyone who worked in sales and planning. I was also assigned tasks by the Senior Vice President of Sales and Planning throughout the summer to help check documents before they were finalized. I did all this, along with administrative tasks.
What was your favorite thing about your internship?
My favorite thing about my internship had to be the networking I did. When I had downtime, I used it to my advantage and looked up as many people within the company as I could. Sales was not my first choice of divisions to work in for the summer, but it was the best thing that could’ve happened. I reached out to the President of MSG Media who was gracious enough to sit down with myself and my co-intern. He gave the two of us tasks to do during the summer.
Being the President of MSG Media means he is in control of the Sales and Planning, as well as Fuse, and he wanted Fuse to become bigger and better. He gave the two of us research projects and had us watch certain movies and TV shows Fuse aired. We had focus groups with him. Being able to have a relationship with the President of MSG Media (that is still ongoing today) was single handedly the greatest moment of my internship career. I also met with the SVP of Sales and Planning and the VP of Team Operations for The New York Rangers and The New York Knicks, because I wanted to try and learn about as many departments of The Madison Square Garden Company as possible.
As an English major, what is one thing you can take away from your internship and apply to your classes here at the University of Delaware?
Being an English major and working in Sales, you wouldn’t think there is much of a relationship there. But, when you think about it, the same fundamentals apply to both things. Yes, one is more geared towards numbers and the other is focused more on writing, but time management is critical in both. There were so many deadlines I had to finish projects by and the company relied so heavily on the interns. The same goes for finishing assignments at the University of Delaware. The work ethic is the same. For both. learning to manage my time wisely was critical so I had time to double check my work, ask for feedback, and give 110% for every assignment.
What was something unexpected that happened during or came out of your internship experience?
I went into this internship not expecting to get much out of it, because it was not what I wanted. I really wanted to be in Marketing for The New York Rangers and I felt like I had failed when I wasn’t chosen for that position. However, what I gained this summer would not have been achieved if I was work there. Branching out into a different department that I had zero knowledge about helped me grow as a person and see how everything within a company fits together.
I learned so much about how each department fits together by talking to as many people as possible and I took this summer as a learning experience. After I got over the fact that I was not going to be working for The Rangers, I sat down and said to myself, “Okay you’re here, make the most out of this. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” And as cliche as that is, it’s true. I would 100% recommend that everyone have at least one internship in a department that has nothing to do with your major or career goals, because it will help you learn about the whole of the company and will make you a more well-rounded person for future employers.
Any words of wisdom for other students that may be interested in pursuing this or a similar internship?
My words of wisdom are to just keep pushing and to never give up. I saw my dream internship for my dream company slip away and didn’t think I was going to get another call back, but each time I got a phone call from the HR department at MSG, I expressed my passion for the company and told them I was going to be the best intern they ever had and was willing to work in any and all facets of the overall company. Just getting your foot in the door is the best thing you can do as someone who is there to watch and learn.
Any additional words of career wisdom that you would like to share?
Network!! Everyone says it, but I cannot stress it enough. I kept telling myself the President of MSG Media is not going to email me back because why would he want an intern to ask him questions when he has 1/3 of The Madison Square Garden Company to run? He proved me wrong when I got his email back (roughly 5 hours after I sent him my email), saying he would love to meet with me and set up an hour interview with me. He said he loves seeing the initiative from young people.
Also, not everyone is going to say yes. I sent so many emails over the three months I was there and I didn’t get responses from most of them, but the ones that did were willing to take the time out of their extremely busy schedules to help me learn about what it takes to become successful. They helped me learn more about myself and encouraged me to reach out to other people. Don’t feel intimated to email or call people. If I can get a meeting set up with the President of MSG Media, so can you! Go for it! Anything is possible!
Social Media Marketing Intern
University of Delaware Career Services