My summer as a sports information and communications intern

By: Makala Kafer, junior, journalism and mass communication

This past summer, I was a sports information and communications intern at the Iowa High School Athletic Association. I was joined by two other interns, starting from the end of May up until August. I got to spend my time working state events, running social media, dabbling in web design, strengthening my Adobe software skills and building my professionalism in a workplace.

The IHSAA is a nonprofit that offers membership to Iowa high schools through the Department of Education. Their mission is to oversee and promote boys’ high school and junior high-level sports. They supply the state with records, information, regulations, awards, rules and statistics, while valuing the wellness of athletes, sportsmanship and interscholastic activities.

In my position, my main duties included creating graphic design and content for their social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). This consisted of anything from making a graphic about an upcoming state event to live tweeting. Social media was put into the hands of the interns to let our creativity flow and create the content that we thought was best suitable for the given subject.

Another major task I worked on was creating a record book on Adobe InDesign. This record book was for the state of Iowa’s wrestling information. I transformed an over 100-page stat book into an appealing, organized format that allows for people to easily navigate and enjoy the articles in a more fashionable manner. This job taught me so many ins and outs of InDesign and made me much more familiar with the software.

One of my biggest highlights and responsibilities of the internship was working at the state events. In my time there, I worked state track, golf, tennis, soccer and baseball. All of these events brought me to fun locations like Iowa City and Waterloo, while allowing me to learn more about what all goes into an event and the duties of working one.

During the state events, I was expected to stay on top of social media posts, update the website, sell programs, do ticketing, help fans stay informed and be ready for anything else that may have arisen. This was a fast-paced, busy environment, but it was a wonderful experience. Not only did I get to practice many skills at one time, but I had so much fun while doing so.

I couldn’t talk about my internship without mentioning the amazing people I worked with. The two other interns, Clare Veren and Quinten Wilson (both college students), were a delight to work with. My boss, Chris Cueallar, the head of communications, was a wonderful mentor, teacher, leader and terrific person to work under. The entirety of the IHSAA staff was helpful, patient and so much fun to be around. I feel like I was truly a part of their organization.

My overall summer internship was a great experience. I learned so much while doing productive work. I also gained skills and practiced ones I had before, which will help me in the future. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work for the IHSAA as their summer intern; it was a special way to spend my time.

Editor’s note: Edited for length and clarity. Greenlee 499A internship scholarships support students who have a primary major in advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations and are completing their required 400-hour internships. The application is available each spring.