Each year, the ASPSA Internship Program welcomes three interns who embark on an intensive year-long internship designed to prepare aspiring new professionals in the field of academic support for student-athletes. Established in 2005, the internship runs from early July to mid-June and follows a strategic timeline that allows interns the opportunity to gain significant experience in many facets of academic support for student-athletes. Interns gain firsthand experience in areas such as registration, advising, continuing eligibility review, event planning/special projects, teaching an orientation course, and monitoring academic progress throughout the semester.
ASPSA interns have left lasting legacies and have gone on to be successful professionals in the field. Each article in this series will spotlight a former intern. They will reflect on their past experiences, give advice to aspiring professionals, and update us on their current positions.
Alumni Profile – Katie Ethridge (’06-‘07)
Katie Ethridge was part of the ASPSA internship from 2006-2007. At the conclusion of the internship, Katie was hired at the University of South Carolina. Over the past ten years, Katie has worked with a variety of sports including football, men’s basketball, baseball, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving. As of July 2017, Katie is the director of academic services at Austin Peay State University.
What was one valuable thing you learned at this internship that you took to your next institution?
I manage(d) our staffings at South Carolina. I took the staffing model from NC State and then tweaked that format to best serve our staff. Also, working with football during my internship helped prepare me for working with football the first six years here. Having those experiences really helped me step into that role.
What advice would you give to future interns?
- Networking is key. Get to know everybody you can. Maria Tyson Crockett, Assistant Director ASPSA, was my mentor and I worked closely with Katie Sheridan Graham, Assistant Dean and Director ASPSA. I reached out to Maria and went to her for advice throughout the job search process.
- Get involved in as much as you can (awards, hotlist, etc.) You never know what additional duties you will have at your new position. I was given life skills my second year here. The internship helped prepare me for taking on additional responsibilities. Enjoy your time and be passionate about your work.
- Once you get a full time job the hardest part is the different questions coaches ask you. Try to get a feel for some of the questions you will be asked and how you would answer them. That is the biggest change going from the internship to a full time position. If you are not able to interact with coaches directly, ask your supervisors about possible questions and scenarios to prepare.
Talk about your job search process as you were completing the internship?
Out of the three interns in my class, I was the last one to get a position. I know it sounds cliché, but try not to stress out. It’s going to happen! One of the interns in my cohort wanted to stay in Raleigh. She ended up getting a job advising on campus at NC State and she is still very happy. The other intern wanted to be in a big city and ended up getting a job at Georgetown. I wanted to be closer to home. I’m originally from Georgia, and I ended up at South Carolina. Try to be open to different opportunities and know that your first job doesn’t have to be your forever job. You can do it for a few years and get your feet wet and then move onto your dream school.
What advice would you give for the job search?
When I first got to South Carolina I worked with football, swimming and diving, and then men’s basketball for three years. If you work with one student, you can work with any type of student. It’s all about building relationships. Be open to different experiences and new ideas, the field of academic support is constantly changing.
*Interviews were edited for clarity and length
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