Megan Westerman, sport management third-year student, has been highly involved in the Gopher Sports Marketing (GSM) department since her freshman year. After transitioning from a Gameday Intern as a first-year student to a Lead Intern for the Gopher Football and Women’s Gymnastics team, Westerman has had a taste of almost every sport the U has to offer.
Westerman isn’t foreign to the chaos within the sports arena. With three younger sisters, as well as having Gopher Sports fan-section management experience, Westerman knows how to work a crowd. Originally from Oconomowoc, WI, Westerman actively played soccer throughout her childhood and currently plays golf. “I grew up a sports fan, so if I could have dinner with anyone, it would either be Aaron Rodgers or Christian Yelich [two Wisconsin athletes],” laughs Westerman. She has always aspired to maintain a meaningful career, and through her GSM Internship, she has had an opportunity to experience hands-on the impact athletics has on student and community engagement. “Knowing you’re making a difference through sports on students’ overall confidence and wellbeing, and community involvement within the U of M reinforces why I want to work in this field.”
This year as a GSM Lead Intern for her respective sports, Westerman’s work focuses on developing promotional activities and executing marketing campaigns for the teams. Westerman oversees and guides new GSM interns during specific sports events. “The GSM internship opened a lot of doors for me, and it pushed me to challenge myself in ways I didn’t know were possible.” According to Westerman, it’s all about the people. “The staff and student interns set you up for success. GSM staff assisted with my job applications and letter of recommendations, and provided numerous resources to help gain exposure to the professional sports industry.”
Westerman has also worked for the Minnesota Timberwolves as a Marketing Assistant, and this summer she was a Corporate Partnership Intern with the Milwaukee Brewers. “After contributing to collegiate sports marketing initiatives in the past, it was great to shift gears towards professional athletic organizations and observe the differences between the two.” Westerman attributes these internships to the success and diverse experiences she had in GSM.
If Westerman had to offer a piece of advice to future sport management students, she suggests “get ready to be busy. As a sport management student, you will need to diversify your experiences and be eager to learn new things.” With endless options within the industry, she says, “be dedicated, proactive and find your niche.”
If you are interested in a student internship with Gopher Sports Marketing, visit gophersports.com.