Greetings again from Chicago! As I begin this brief update on my exciting internship with the National Basketball Retired Players Association, I cannot help but marvel at how quickly the first month of my summer with the association has gone. On second thought, this feeling can probably be attributed to the heavy, engaging workload that I have been assigned. I guess you could consider me a unique intern as this summer represents a rotational experience with the NBRPA, which means I am getting a wide array of experience in several departments. Thus far, I have been quite active in Operations, Special Events, and Membership Benefits & Programming.
I have learned many different things about the NBRPA, the NBA, sports business, and my career interests thus far, however I would like to touch on one specific thought right now. It has become quite apparent to me early on here, and it represents a bit of classic intern wisdom that deserves some true consideration. Do the “little things” well. Sure – it’s cliche, and it’s obvious. But it’s also the truth, and its value transcends the business world. Over the course of my first month at the NBRPA, I have updated and re-organized our organization’s chief file cabinet, worked the telephones, sorted through a storage unit, and done a host of other small tasks. While surely that is not all I have done in my first four weeks, I have taken a special liking to knocking out tasks like those. By accomplishing the day’s small tasks efficiently and effectively, one becomes reliable, dependable, and trustworthy in the eyes of the staff and higher-ups in the office. As a basketball player, I am beyond compelled to use the hoops analogy here. Give me the team that is fundamentally sound, talks on defense, always knows score/time/possession, sets screens with conviction, makes crisp passes, and does the rest of the “little things” well, and I’m telling you we are winning the ballgame. These “little things” may not always be the most glorious or enjoyable activities, but from my experience embracing these duties, I can assure you that they are a worthwhile use of your time and just might represent your golden ticket to new responsibilities.