Grady InternViews: Luke Yearwood
Grady InternViews: Luke Yearwood
Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities
My internship is one that spans multiple departments that fall within the umbrella of marketing, such as corporate partnerships, advertising and special events. Throughout the duration of the twelve-week program, I spend two weeks in each department, assisting and learning from the respective staff and applying the knowledge I gain in the classroom to a real-world setting. In addition to this, I also get the opportunity to work on multiple intern-specific projects, one being the creation of detailed project management systems to be used throughout the Hall of Fame’s annual event and activation calendar.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned so far is the importance of being bold and not afraid to speak up as an intern. One of the things that I have been most grateful for regarding my time at the Hall would be how (surprisingly) small the office is. This allowed me opportunities to work directly with higher-level executives such as the VP of Marketing and even the CEO, which can definitely be intimidating at times. However, I have found that – despite being an intern – not being afraid to share my thoughts and ideas is greatly appreciated, and even encouraged. In this role, my voice definitely matters, and it has made me realize that the ideas I have and my opinions should be and are valued by my coworkers!
How will this role guide your future career path?
Pursuing an advertising degree, as well as serving on the board of directors for the Talking Dog Agency based out of Grady, I had only had exposure to what it was like to work for a third-party company or organization. However, coming into the Hall of Fame, I am now part of an in-house marketing team. Naturally, it differed a good bit – but, I have now worked on both sides of marketing, and I can use that experience to figure out which jobs I would like to take in the future, as well as what those positions may entail. After this summer, I’ll be able to more effectively narrow down the work I’d like to do, as opposed to having to figure that out once I’m already in the workplace.
What’s the most challenging part about this position?
The most challenging part about this position is learning how to juggle multiple projects at one time. In addition to cycling through different departments every two weeks, I am also tasked with working on multiple intern projects, which are all being developed simultaneously. On an average day, I am working on three to four different projects, events, campaigns, and my project management skills have definitely been put to the test.
What advice would you give to students looking to pursue similar opportunities?
Take advantage of the people you know, or even who they may know. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past year is the power of networking. I got my internship through a friend of a friend, and I was shocked by how much weight that single connection carried. Reach out to people on LinkedIn, go to career fairs, email your parents’ friends, and make every connection you possibly can. You’ll be surprised how much closer it gets you to a job in the interview process!
What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?
Truthfully, my favorite part of my whole experience has simply been the novelty of it. Getting to work somewhere like the College Football Hall of Fame has given me so many opportunities that I never thought I’d have – I got to work the first ever NIL Summit for collegiate athletes, meet a few big names in college football at SEC Media Days, and make so many connections with different corporate sponsors such as Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft. I’ve felt like a little kid meeting all these heroes, and it’s made the extensive work so worth it!