I just worked 12-14 hours a day for 6 weeks with one day off and got paid 21 cents an hour. I truly feel like a free man who just earned his freedom as a slave or a convict getting released from prison, yet I already miss it. I came into this internship looking for new connections and opportunities in the sports world. Although I found that with no problem, it is the relationships that turned into friendships and the life lessons I learned that I am happy to have obtained and be leaving Philadelphia with.
Going into this internship I had no idea what to expect. I was so excited to be doing anything associated with the Philadelphia 76ers as I saw it as the beginning of the road to following my dreams working in the sports world. After my first 30 minutes there listening to our boss say everything we needed to do and looking at the work in front of us, the only words that we were all thinking was “We’re fucked.”
Our first week consisted of 12-hour days moving hundreds of boxes and preparing everything for the most premier overnight basketball camp in the NBA. It sucked. It really made me have a negative first impression on working in the sports world. The only thing that helped make it bearable was that I was working with other interns my age from different schools around the country that were going through this shitty shit with me. There were a few that I hit it off with immediately and as each day went on, the closer we got. After one week with these people, I felt like I have been friends with them my entire life.
My boss was a former Villanova basketball player and graduate who was only a few years older than us. This guy has been through more shit in his 24 years of life than I even thought was possible to go through. Raised in the hood of Philly having to fight to get through certain blocks just to get to and from school, being at the top of the world through basketball, then losing the 2 closest people in your life within a year, this man had a different outlook on life compared to anyone I’ve ever met. I can never thank him enough for everything he did for me and the things I was able to learn from him that I can utilize for the rest of my life.
The rest of the internship consisted of 12-hour days doing everything and more to make the camps run smoothly or going to other areas in Philly helping out my boss for other camps. The days were long and July was the longest month of my life, but being surrounded by the people that I was, helped make every day a great one.
Like I said, I came into this internship looking for new connections and opportunities in the sports world. Although I found that with no problem; it is the relationships that turned into friendships and the life lessons I learned that I am happy to have obtained. Here are a few things I took away from my time in Philly:
- It doesn’t matter what the job is, if you are surrounded with people you enjoy it makes any job easier and more fun. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- Surround yourself with people that have similar goals and mindsets as you. No matter how much you enjoy spending time with certain people, if they don’t have the same mindset as you in your path to success, they are only holding you back.
- Be humble and genuine to everyone and have no enemies. You never know whom you’re going to run into again or end up doing business with one day.
- At the end of the day, certain college degrees will never get you a job. They will get you the interview. Your people and social skills, yout knowledge, as well as your confidence in that interview determine whether you get the job 99% of the time.
- There is a value of being surrounded by the people that mean the most to you. One day you will find out how much it’s worth.
- What a “jawn” is.
- We need to stop comparing ourselves to other people/co-workers and focus more on being the best “Me” that we can be.
- It’s not whether the glass is half empty or full, it’s who’s pouring it. Take control of your own situations and make the most of them.
- Most importantly, never let anyone talk you out of your dreams. Follow your passion no matter what anyone says or if no one believes in you. “What good is being the one when you’re the only one who knows it.”
To the people from Auburn, Albuquerque, Delaware, Mass, Jersey, Philly, and San Diego: you positively impacted my life forever and I hope to see you all again someday. I would do it all over again just to spend more time with you guys. 10 cheesesteaks later, I’m out Philly. War Damn Eagle.
Also, a huge thanks to the Valley Forge Casino; a couple gambling sessions there paid for everything my entire time in Philadelphia, plus leaving with an extra 13 bucks.
P.S. As I’m writing this on my flight home I just witnessed a guy drink his beer in a cup full of ice. That’s the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen.