Day 36: Only the Strong Survive

Camille Ertel 2016

As I sit at my computer trying to write this blog post, all I can think about is how fast these last five weeks have gone by. It seems like only days ago that I moved into the Big City and anxiously and excitedly started this summer, and now we are more than halfway done with MSBA 2016. My internship at the USTA has been a real growing experience for me. My work environment is very fast-paced and intense, and I find myself working through lunch most days. This is not because I have to, but because I want to; I want to put in that extra time and effort. I am tasked with a huge variety of things and many different people rely on me to execute. I am not treated as an intern, but as a member of the team. I appreciate the amount of responsibility that my bosses place on me because it makes me feel valued. Every day I ask about 30 questions, and every day someone always offers to answer them with a smile on their face. Every week my office floor becomes emptier and emptier because people are traveling for Wimbledon, Davis Cup and soon the Emirates Airline US Open Series. With each person that leaves, my list of responsibilities grows as I become the point person in the office. I am enjoying my internship so far and I am very much looking forward to continuing through September and getting hands-on experience with the most-attended live sporting event in the country – the final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year: The US Open.

“I feel so fortunate to be a part of this program because of the numerous talented and hardworking people we hear from every evening.”

The Open isn’t the only thing I am looking forward to, however. When I get home from work at around 6:15pm every weeknight, my day is only half over, as the programming that MSBA puts on – such as the Speaker and Workshop Series – is just starting! I feel so fortunate to be a part of this program because of the numerous talented and hardworking people we hear from every evening. I am learning so much just by being present and I feel like a sponge just soaking up information. The more I listen to people talk, the more I am convinced that in order to make it in this business you have to absolutely love what you do, or else it is just not worth it. So many leaders in the sports business industry have talked about the sacrifices they have had to make in order to advance their careers. This is a business that can absolutely consume your life due to the night-and-weekend nature of the industry. If you don’t love what you’re doing, it will show because you will not be willing to stay that extra hour or skip going out with friends to grab drinks because you have to work the game. My conclusion is that in the end, if you want it badly enough, it will become apparent because those who cannot and are not willing to keep up and sacrifice will fall, and only the strong will be left standing. Now more than ever, I am determined to be one of the few that remain standing, and I am prepared and willing to sacrifice in order to get there.