It’s More Than a Job
For sports enthusiast and senior marketing major, Seán Moran, trying to get an internship at the Special Olympics in Kansas City was a no-brainer.
“When sports are involved, it’s not a job!” says Seán.
Seán heard about an internship with Special Olympics through an ad on the internship bulletin board on campus. Seán rushed home to create his resume and cover letter for the position and sent it to the Special Olympics office. Excited to ge a response by phone, Seán landed an interview with Special Olympics vice president, Donna Zimmerman.
“I got the job after the first interview and started working there a few months later,” Seán said.
Special Olympics is an organization that celebrates people’s diverse gifts. The organization promotes acceptance of people with disabilities through year-round sports training and competition. Seán explained that Special Olympics gets disabled people active throughout the year, as well as sends qualifying athletes to the USA Special Olympics Games.
This semester, Seán is in charge of graphic design projects, writing news releases for various events, creating web pages and producing TV commercials. One large project he is doing helps qualifying athletes raise funds to attend and compete in the 2014 USA Games, held in New Jersey. For this project Seán is creating trading cards for approximately 23 athletes. Each card includes a photo of the athlete, as well as stats for their specific sporting event. He is also in charge of creating the individual fundraising web pages for each athlete.
Seán has also been given the responsibility of creating two commercials. One is specifically a promotional video for the USA Games. The purpose, he says, is to get the athletes excited for the games, as well as promoted them in their individual sport. In order to create one commercial, Seán said his team completed more than 20 hours of filming and editing.
“I learned how much you have to film in order to get very little video,” he said. “It’s very interesting.”
While talking about filming the commercial, Seán recalled a funny moment that happened while filming a soccer player.
“A soccer player was taking a drink of water, so I thought I’d film him,” laughed Seán. “He thought I looked a little warm, so he decided to dump an entire bottle of water on my head!”
Seán also talked about how much he loves the tightknit community. He said that he can walk into an event and introduce himself to the parents of the athletes.
“All the people are outgoing and very caring,” Seán said.
As a senior at MNU, Seán said that this internship has helped him solidify his career goals. He hopes to work at an advertising agency, creating commercials and other promotional tools. Interning at Special Olympics has also taught him a lot about the real world.
“I learned that you need to double-check everything you do, manage your time well, and be early to everything,” said Seán. “I like to challenge myself to beat my boss to work in the mornings!”
This year Seán has also been very involved with the football team. Since he already played football for four years, Seán has been given the opportunity coach the freshman and set up practices.
“I enjoy helping out with the freshmen defensive backs, both on and off the field,” he says.
According to Seán, professors at MNU have helped him with his interpersonal skills. Since the professors are readily available to talk at any time, he was not afraid to directly talk to the Kansas City Special Olympics CEO, Chris Hahn.
“While it is important to know the ins and outs of your career field, it’s more important how you act,” says Seán. “MNU has helped me grow as a person.”
Seán concluded by saying, “When you go to the Special Olympics events, you think you’re going to put a smile on the athlete’s faces, but they are the ones who put a smile on my face!”