Although my senior tennis season at UW-Madison ended in April, my involvement with the game continued. This summer, I had the opportunity to see the sport I’ve been playing most of my life from a new perspective. While I was no longer devoting as much time on the court, I was investing time into bettering the experiences of those who were.
My summer at Wilson was an incredible one. Filled with new relationships, a wealth of knowledge, and a whole lot of fun. From my very first day at the headquarters in downtown Chicago, I felt welcome and comfortable. Everyone in the office was more than happy to sit down, talk with me, and share their role and excitement in working for Wilson. It was clear to me that virtually everyone had a passion for the company, and each person brought something unique to the table. From the beginning, I was able to sit in on various meetings and observe how to characterize success, deliver continued innovation, and maintain an identity unique to the company and its culture.
Not only was I an observer, but I began to delve into a number of projects spanning areas such as Social Media, Product, and Grassroots Marketing that helped give me a better understanding of each department within the Wilson Racket Sports team. It was surprising to me how much each department interacted with one another, almost like a giant cog with many gears, all working together.
In addition to my responsibilities at the office, I was afforded the opportunity to travel to many junior and professional tournaments throughout the summer, concluding with the U.S. Open in New York. It was neat to see the behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting on an event of that magnitude. At the junior tournaments, I enjoyed seeing the fire and passion of the junior tennis players, always hungry to improve and further their game. One of my favorite parts of the internship was getting to interact with players, parents and consumers on a personal level. Conversing with so many diverse people from around the country and world, sharing stories of what the sport means to each of us, was both exciting and motivating. It was eye-opening to see how everyone has a different background in the sport, not just the path I have taken myself. Some just beginning, some having played for decades, some recreational, and some who just love to watch the game.
Furthermore, working together with Cy, Kristin, and Eugenia was a blast. I learned so much from all three of them, as they each possess individual qualities and their own wealth of knowledge and experiences. Being able to be part of a team after four years of college tennis, was refreshing and exciting as I discovered that teamwork and camaraderie are continually encouraged and applied in a professional work setting.
From being exposed to and learning the inner workings of a large successful company, to traveling to various tournaments and engaging with junior players across the country, I gained knowledge that will be valuable to me far beyond my internship. While there is still so much more to learn, I can feel confident and prepared for whatever my future holds, knowing I have a great start on building the necessary foundation for a successful career in the sports industry.
The summer flew by and I wish I could have spent more time at Wilson, but I am incredibly grateful for my experience and I know that everyone in Chicago is only a phone call away. Thank you to all who made my summer at Wilson an incredible one!