Each summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics acquire real-world professional skills through internships. In each installment of this series, an outstanding Lerner student will be profiled, sharing their internship experience, challenges they have overcome and what their future holds!
Lerner: What are you doing this summer to develop readiness for your future career?
Kaufmann: I participated in the Summer Scholars research opportunity this summer. I created a thesis and collected data surrounding student-athlete engagement on campus and their fan attendance. I focused on our own Delaware Men’s Basketball team as an example on how to grow engagement, while simultaneously working as their team manager.
Lerner: How did you find out about your current developmental experience? Why did you pursue it?
Kaufmann: My fantastic professor who is a very influential mentor in my career, Dr. Matthew Robinson, recommended I apply for the program after many conversations around the topic. Research was never something I had particularly thought of as a business major, but I applied anyway and wound up becoming super passionate about my findings.
Lerner: What did you learn through this experience that you don’t think you would have learned elsewhere?
Kaufmann: I learned a lot about looking for details. There were so many factors I discovered that contribute directly to our lower attendance that can be very easily fixed in the short term. Things such as increased classroom engagement from players to showing up to campus events are factors that raise attendance numbers at other schools that we have not put into play yet.
Lerner: What is an example of a time you were able to apply something you learned at Lerner to your efforts?
Kaufmann: Lerner has given me so much more confidence in what I am able to achieve. I feel very well-rounded and prepared as a student to approach outside resources and present in front of an esteemed group of guests. If I had not had the support of the Lerner faculty, I don’t think I would have been able to take on this big project. In my two years being a Lerner student, I have learned to always analyze more and show it off with a confident smile.
Lerner: Did you experience any challenges throughout your experience? If so, how did you combat it?
Kaufmann: My biggest challenge was formulating my presentation. We were limited to ten minutes, which was a very short amount of time for months worth of research. I practiced with timers many times, but still felt rushed when it came time to present. What I was very proud of was my ability to stimulate questions through my presentation that allowed guests to inquire more about things I wasn’t able to cover.
Lerner: What are your career plans once your internship ends?
Kaufmann: Once the program is over, I will be returning to the University of Delaware to finish my undergraduate studies.