Upbeat, self-motivated student finds ample opportunity in summer internship

(Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of stories about students in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications completing summer internships.)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — He’s never had a “desk job” before, but just a couple of weeks into an internship working every day in New York City — and learning to make the most of a long commute both ways — already has Greg Radovic excited about potential career paths.

Radovic, a junior majoring in public relations from New Fairfield, Connecticut, started his summer internship with NFL on Location Experiences in early May. The organization creates and implements official hospitality and VIP experiences at NFL events, including the Super Bowl, NFL Draft, international games and Pro Bowl.

In their NYC office, 30 full-time employees work on five different internal teams (event operations, finance, marketing, partnerships and sales) and this summer the group has one intern: Radovic.

“It’s been a great experience and there’s certainly a lot to do,” Radovic said. “So far there’s been database management, research and some writing. What’s exciting is that it’s a pretty small group, so you get to know everyone, and there are so many chances to learn.

“Plus, they’ve challenged me and made me a part of what they’re doing in terms of exchanging ideas or taking part in discussions. It’s not like they’re sticking the intern in the corner to make copies. There’s a chance to learn something every day, and I’m making the most of it.”

Radovic serves as a student manager for the Penn State football team, so his internship will conclude July 27, giving him the chance to get back to campus in time for the start of the team’s preseason camp. His other previous work experience was at summer camps or in a retail setting at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

He has found an office job in midtown Manhattan, in some ways a significant change from his past experience, to be rewarding. Even a daily two-hour commute, each way, does not dim his outlook.

“If you take in account the drive to the train station, the train and then the walk, it’s about two hours and 10 minutes,” Radovic said. “Before this I had not been much of a reader, but I’ve picked out a couple of books to read, and sometimes I just catch up on my sleep. So far, it’s all been kind of enjoyable.”

That ever-positive, upbeat approach played a role in Radovic securing the internship. He was one of five finalists, and Penn State alumna Jessica Quinlan, marketing director at NFL on Location who earned her degree in advertising/public relations in 2010, said his demeanor made an impression.

“You could tell he puts his whole heart into what he does, and that he likes all he does. Talking with him makes you feel better,” Quinlan said. “He outlined his responsibilities and walked us through a typical week for him during the semester. It seemed daunting, but he was smiling from ear to ear about everything. He seemed thrilled to be doing what he was doing. He was even thrilled by the minutia and he took so much pride in what he was doing. That’s the kind of person you want to add to your company, even if it’s just for a summer internship.”

To be clear, no internship is just an internship for Quinlan. She completed five varied internships as an undergraduate student herself and found value in each, with the combination of those experiences helping focus her career path while providing the basis for a strong professional network.

The team at NFL on Location has already provided several projects for Radovic. He discusses the duties and expected outcomes with people from the respective department, works through any questions he has and then gets set loose to do the work. While the first week offered time to learn about the organization and departments, with assignments coming slowly, both he and Quinlan expect the pace to quicken in the coming weeks.

“He’s self-motivated, and that’s important. We’re a small staff so his ability to take a project and run with it, and not have to have his hand held through every step, is great,” Quinlan said. “At first, you’re careful not to overwhelm someone in his position but the longer the internship goes and people learn that he’s reliable, I’m sure we’ll lean on him more. Actually, once you prove you’re an asset, the next challenge is time management because everyone wants to give you something to do.”

That’s the kind of challenge that keeps an intern busy — even at a desk job.

Last Updated June 07, 2018