This summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics discovered new avenues for professional preparation and practical hands-on experience. Lerner College students pursued an array of remote, in person or hybrid internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. From MBA scholars to undergraduates entering their second year at UD, students across a spectrum of Lerner programs shared their experiences accomplishing an assortment of projects.
Each profile of our “My Summer Internship” series will provide a glimpse into one of these unique experiences and how students applied knowledge from their studies to be successful in the real-world.
Claire Kaufmann, class of 2024 sport management major with a minor in advertising, spent her summer as a Community Engagement intern at the HEADstrong Foundation.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? What did you pursue it?
Kaufmann: I initially saw the position on Handshake. I recognized the HEADstrong Foundation from lacrosse games I had worked at through Syracuse University. At every game I worked, there was always a HEADstrong table with lime green bracelets and shoelaces. After being a part of the UDance Executive Board for three years, I knew I wanted a career in helping families affected by cancer. I knew that HEADstrong would be a perfect fit for me!
Lerner: What was the most exciting task or project that you completed?
Kaufmann: Over the summer, I worked on securing donors for HEADstrong’s annual Lime Light Gala. This gala is a huge fundraising event for the foundation, and I got to see just how hard all of the staff work on making it a success. I am so excited to attend the gala as a staff member this month!
Lerner: What did you learn from the internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Kaufmann: I learned a lot about teamwork. The HEADstrong Foundation has a small staff with many events, so all hands were on deck when it came to making every one a success. From lacrosse leagues to golf outings, everyone showed up with a smile, rain or shine.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Kaufmann: In my role, I had to do a lot of speaking and connecting to businesses and professionals. Lerner has provided me with a lot of skills to excel when it came to public speaking. The support of my professors also gave me the confidence to jump head first into this internship.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Kaufmann: During my time at HEADstrong, I contacted close to one hundred possible donors for our gala. I had to deal with a lot of rejection when it came to securing donations. Though discouraging, it motivated me to keep reaching out to different businesses. My team supported me through this all and I am very grateful!
Lerner: What are your career plans, and how do you think the internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Kaufmann: In my future, I would love to work in the nonprofit sector of professional sports teams. Being able to connect to the mission of the HEADstrong Foundation has really solidified my passion for the field. I was able to learn so much about event planning, furthering my network, and making a difference through my position at HEADstrong.