Austin Shares How CFS Has Helped Shape His Internship Experience

Name: AustinAustin Carr (2)

Year: Junior

Major: Philosophy

CFS Concentration: Field Studies in the Modern Workplace

I’m currently interning at the WPG owned IEG, a sponsorship and marketing firm located downtown in the Chicago Sun Times building. The process that landed me with IEG was long and filled with uncertainty (as any other intern would attest to). It all began with a visit over the summer through the NU4Life program run by Julie Dunn. I’ll spare you the long narrative of other internship options, aggressive employers and dogs in offices but I’m with IEG now and couldn’t be more content with my decision! Thanks to Karen Allen’s wonderful collaboration with Julie, Julie was able to seamlessly pass off my resumé and information as I prepared for interviews.
Entering my first week, I felt prepared and yet nervous, which my Wildcat counterparts attested to at the CFS orientation luncheon. All sorts of questions I had were answered within minutes at the orientation. These questions ranged from “How do I communicate to my boss that I can’t make a day of work due to other obligations?” to “How many times should I be able to use the restroom each day?” Surely these are questions every first time intern wanted to ask!
Nevertheless, IEG’s office environment is all I could ask for when it comes to comfort. Not only is there a loose business casual standard (just don’t wear sweats), the employees were quick to receive me with open arms and patience. Quickly I realized that no question is too stupid to ask. As a result, I’ve learned a ton about the sponsorship universe and its distinction from advertising. While advertising is typically understood as those brands which appear in commercials, sponsorship is the attachment of certain brands to particular events and experiences. Much of what IEG does is evaluating the fiscal worth of these sponsorships, creating effective and logical partnerships as well as suggesting sensible brand activation. Much of what I’ve been doing so far has been compiling data in a sector I selected on the first week: yacht racing. My job has been to familiarize myself with the yacht racing ‘universe’ with all of its sponsorship deals, shifters and potential partner activations.
All in all, my time with IEG through CFS has been an invaluable experience that has afforded me not just work experience, but also vital networking opportunities that I hope to leverage in my future professional career. Did I mention the 10 or so new friends I’ve made through my CFS Modern Workplace class? This class offers such an enriching opportunity to share stories, embarrassing moments and warn one another about office no-no’s. Be that as it may, I can’t wait to find out what more is in store for me with IEG this winter.