By Sarah Stubbs
Since the announcement in March that The University of Findlay has partnered with the Cleveland Browns, six UF students have had the opportunity to intern with special events over the summer and Brandon Emsweller, junior broadcast journalism major, has just landed the first full-time corporate internship which he will begin this fall.
Another first for the budding UF and Browns partnership happened on Tuesday, Sept. 1: The Browns Summit.
Phil Gunder, director of UF’s Internship and Placement Office, said that this is the first of many “transactions of knowledge” between the Browns and UF that will continue to take place thanks to this corporate partnership and internship program.
“Students always hear from professors, professionals in my office, and friends and family members about what to do and how to go about it but today allowed them to hear from individuals who can tell them exactly what it is they look for within professional sports,” Gunder said.
“They paint that picture much clearer than we can. Students interested in sports and possibly working in professional sports got a chance to hear from people who are actually living that.”
The Browns Summit was split into two parts: “Play Like a Brown – Owning your personal brand and how to use it to achieve your goals” and “Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing – Know what questions to ask, what questions to not ask, and how to impress hiring managers to land your dream job.”
Cleveland Browns executives who were present at the Summit included Browns President Alec Scheiner, Senior Director of Sales and Strategy Matt Webb, Coordinator of Digital Business Lauren Walters-Powel, Director of Inside Sales Josh Young, Coordinator of Game Presentation and Special Events Cory Kinder, and Manager of Corporate Partnership Activation Anthony Cangelosi.
Oilers attended each session and then were given the opportunity to chat and shake hands with Browns executives after those sessions.
Reilly Butz, junior accounting and political science double major, is one of the 150 plus students who attended the Summit.
“I saw today as a great opportunity. I know Haley Gray who interned this summer, and she kind of encouraged me to take advantage of today. I think it would be cool do something with a professional sports team like the Browns, but even if I don’t pursue that I learned a lot about interviews and how to gain experience and stand out,” Butz said.
Butz said Browns executives talked a lot about the interview process itself – how to talk to people and how to ask the right questions.
“My biggest takeaway is to ask a lot of questions. I learned that when you interview, you want to make it clear that you want to know as much about the company as they want to know about you,” Butz said.
Gunder emphasized that the Summit’s target audience was not just sport and event management majors. He also noted that intern opportunities with the Browns are not limited to sport and event management majors either.
Around 150 UF students participated in the Browns Summit. Of that 150, Gunder said that approximately 80 percent of the participants were in the College of Business and the remainder were College of Liberal Arts students.
“Really with the opportunities that the Browns have, they can go across all majors on campus,” Gunder said.
According to Gunder, the first round of interns were dealing mostly with marketing and event management since the program is still so new. As students from other majors are represented in the Browns Edge program, the Internship and Placement office will begin to host panels where interested students can hear right from their classmates about their experiences.
Gunder agreed with Butz in that the Summit helped teach UF students how to stand out.
“The one main thing about the Edge partnership that was attractive to us was the fact that they get thousands of resumes – thousands of interested people,” Gunder said.
According to Gunder, Browns executives showed students how they can stand-out among the thousands. And if they do intend on applying to the Browns, simply being a student at UF will put them way ahead of the game.
Jenna Jesko, senior sport and event management major and summer intern for the Browns was impressed by the turnout and encouraged students to participate in future Edge partnership opportunities.
“At the end of the day I think this was something that would have benefited every student on campus – hearing from people at this professional level,” Jesko said.
The Browns were represented at the job fair on Thursday and will continue to be represented at future job fairs, according to Gunder.
Gunder also said that there will be a field trip opportunity to tour the Cleveland Browns headquarters in Berea, Ohio on Oct. 20 for 20-30 interested students. There will also be an opportunity for students to apply and win one of the two $10,000 scholarships that will be offered through the partnership.
Specifics regarding the scholarships have not yet been released.
For more information about the Browns Edge partnership, visit findlay.edu/brownsedge.