The chant of “Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn” replayed in my head over and over since the day I received my offer sheet to work under Brooklyn Nets Chief Legal Officer, Jeff Gewirtz.
Less than five years ago, Gewirtz had been selected to the prestigious “Forty Under 40” club as one of the top sports executives under the age of 40. Ironically fitting for an executive employed by an organization that was once partially owned by Jay-Z.
At 24, I have become a full time summer intern. I knew the routine. I would enjoy the first week or so, be completely engaged and then slowly lose interest over the course of the summer.
This felt different. I was taking my legal education and plumping it in an environment infatuated by sports enthusiasts, a professional sports team’s Front Office. How would it be possible for the full time intern to lose interest at a job like this?
If it already wasn’t clear, the answer is simple. It was not possible. I was granted an unbelievable opportunity and with only a year left of law school…well let’s just say that this job didn’t need any more motivation. I showed up for my first day, leaving any ignorance at the door of my apartment. It was time to learn from a proven and ascending legal mind.
The newly inhibited office space offered that brand new smell. I arrived 45 minutes prior to orientation around 8am. I wandered around the lobby for a few minutes trying to calm the nerves. Found a water fountain. Paced. Water. Paced. I had to get this giant smile off my face. Finally, I came across the bathroom to make sure my tie had a perfect knot. My mind knew I had two things to do, remove smile and check your tie. Both drooped immediately down my priority list. The bathroom… you know those top-line restaurants and bars that offer Listerine, Jolly Ranchers, Mints and a bathroom attendant handing you paper towels. Well, the Nets felt this was appropriate.
Orientation was the first activity on the schedule, which I might add was so well organized. After filling out paperwork and hearing what the summer had in store, I looked down at my watch and it was already 11am. Joyce Jelks, the director of the summer program and Head of Human Resources escorted me to the executive suites, which would be my home this summer.
I sat down in Jeff’s office with Kari Cohen, Associate Counsel and Christopher Harris, another attorney. Immediately the nerves were gone. I forgot how welcoming this environment was.
Before I knew it, I was sitting at my desk drafting a memorandum for Jeff. It was 3pm and the day had flown by. This was the best first day the full time summer intern had ever had.