Love of sports leads to dream NBA internship for IST student

Emma Riglin
August 06, 2019
Amir Thorpe

Amir Thorpe, a student in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, completed his dream internship this summer with the NBA.

IMAGE: Provided

Editor's note: This is the sixth in a series of articles about students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology completing internships this summer.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- College of Information Sciences and Technology student Amir Thorpe has found self-confidence through his dream internship this summer with the NBA. A senior majoring in security and risk analysis, Thorpe applied for the internship on a whim, because of his love of sports and basketball.

Thorpe is serving as a global events intern, working on marquee events that pertain to summer leagues and other NBA initiatives. He also helps with the logistics and facilitation of multiple projects, such as coordinating practice and tournament schedules for the Jr. NBA Global Championship game.

“My favorite part about being an intern at the NBA is that I get to witness all the hard work we do at the final event,” Thorpe said. “There was so much work put into the 2019 Draft that people didn't see because they're on the forefront of everything.”

An actively involved student who holds leadership positions in BLUEprint, Black Male Leadership Symposium (BMLS), and the Smeal College of Business S.T.A.R.T. Conference at Penn State, Thorpe says one of the things that stands out about the organization is their inclusivity toward him and others, which is a reason why he wanted to work at the NBA.

“I chose this internship because of [the NBA’s] commitment to diversity and growth,” Thorpe said. “In terms of diversity and inclusion, I feel like I belong. They look at me as a full-time employee ready to work and learn new things!”

In addition to involvement in organizations that promote inclusion, Thorpe will also start a new position as a peer career assistant for the College of IST this fall. He appreciates how much the college prepared him for the internship without him even realizing.

“I believe the College of IST prepared me perfectly for this role,” Thorpe said. “For example, the course setup is very group based, and as part of the internship, we have a group project that we'll present to senior executives. IST prepared me for many things in the internship.”

The interdisciplinary experience Thorpe is gaining through the internship has prepared him for many aspects of his future career, especially time management.

“It's teaching me a lot about planning and preparation,” he said. “These skills are needed both in and out of work. The internship also teaches me how to take charge of my career and make it what I want it to be.”

Thorpe, who says he likes to figure things out by himself, has also learned the importance of seeking help from others.

“One of the most important things I've learned is to never be afraid to ask questions. I learned that reaching out shows your dedication to finding a solution for something, so never be afraid to speak up for things you aren't completely sure about.”

He advises his fellow students and anyone looking for an internship that believing in yourself is the first step to success.

“I got rejected from a few internship programs before getting this one,” he said. “Thankfully, it worked out all in my favor. Failure is just a stepping block to something greater!”

He concluded, “Never allow your level of confidence to determine your future. Even if you believe you aren't qualified, someone else may think otherwise. Apply to everything you're interested in. If you want your dreams to become a reality, step outside your comfort zone. I did and it got me an internship at one of my dream companies. Never give up!”

Last Updated January 22, 2020