Brushing Elbows with U.S. Olympians
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Brushing Elbows with U.S. Olympians
Recent Trinity University graduate accepts internship with the United States Olympic Committee
Trinity graduate Veronica Oviedo visits with Jacob Tingle, director of the University's sport management minor, about her USOC internship.
By Molly Mohr
SAN ANTONIO - The best part about living at an Olympic training center, according to Veronica Oviedo? Unlimited amounts of healthy food.
"At the training center, they're feeding Olympian athletes, so all of the food is super healthy," Oviedo explained. "Every single food choice they have gives you a full rundown of nutritional facts. I'm excited to be able to eat healthy without even trying!"
The food selection is just one of the perks of Oviedo's recently acquired paid, full-time internship with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as a Training Sites and Community Partnerships intern. Oviedo graduated from Trinity University in May as a business administration major with concentrations in marketing and finance and a minor in sport management. For the duration of her internship, August through December, the San Antonio native will be living in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Olympic Complex, which is the main training center for Olympic athletes and the headquarters of the USOC.
Passing down the title is Brooke Sanchez, a Trinity University senior from San Antonio majoring in communication and minoring in sport management. Sanchez held the very same internship with the USOC this summer, and she gave Oviedo a heads up on the responsibilities expected of her. According to Sanchez, some of Oviedo's tasks will include writing press releases and newsletters, creating promotional materials, and giving presentations for the department. Despite the heavy workload, Jacob Tingle, director of Trinity University's sport management minor, has no doubt Oviedo will surpass expectations.
Oviedo stands in front of the U.S. Olympic Complex during the FLAME internship in 2011.
"Veronica is a committed, focused, driven young woman," Tingle said. "I'm proud that she has pursued her passions with such vigor. In my mind, she is a strong role model for other young women and for all Trinity students."
Tingle was instrumental in piquing Oviedo's interest in the USOC. In 2011, he suggested that she apply for a program the USOC offered, Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere, otherwise known as FLAME. Oviedo and two of her classmates were accepted, and they ventured to Colorado Springs for the four-day program, staying in the same complex Oviedo will return to this fall.
"FLAME consisted of a lot of leadership and professional training," Oviedo recalled. "You learn how to network and be the best professional you can be."
Tingle has sent seven Trinity students to FLAME in the past three years - a high number considering that the program accepts only 30 undergraduate students from across the country each year. He first learned of the program from Terris Tiller '00, the multi-media coordinator and resident dorm supervisor at the U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs.
"I have been fortunate to share my professional network and access to USOC resources and programs with the Trinity University family in various ways," said Tiller, who has worked for the USOC for nine years. "Through the outstanding performance of Trinity students in the opportunities they've had, the Trinity name is starting to jump out in a positive way within the USOC."
In addition to participation in FLAME, Oviedo's impressive laundry list of experience in the sport industry made for a standout application. While at Trinity, she interned with Spurs Sports & Entertainment and the San Antonio Talons, taught sport management for the Duke Talent Identification Program, and volunteered at the Valero Alamo Bowl and Don Harris Golf Classic.
Oviedo credits her time with the San Antonio Talons, where she was a marketing and promotions intern, for giving her the most real-world leadership experience. With the indoor arena football team just starting up, Oviedo gained invaluable skills helping build a brand from scratch.
"When we went on sales calls, people thought we were trying to scam them," Oviedo laughed. "They had never heard of the Talons. That was one of the main challenges - spreading the word about this new team in town."
Oviedo's internship with the Talons also reinforced her goal of working in sports marketing in the future. "I got to do pretty much everything when it came to the marketing and promotions side of the Talons games, so that's when I knew that it was what I wanted to do," she explained. Her dream job is to someday work in the marketing department of the San Antonio Spurs.
Oviedo credits Trinity University for giving her the educational background she needed to be successful. "I think that coming to Trinity was the best decision for me, academically and also professionally," she said. "I think being in a liberal arts school, where they teach you to think outside of the box, prepared me for my internships. When you're applying for jobs, people look at a liberal arts education and know that you actually think differently. Instead of thinking, 'Let's solve the problem,' we think, 'Why do we have the problem?'"
Molly Mohr, a San Antonio native, interns in the Office of University Communications. A junior at Rice University, she is pursuing a major in sport management and a minor in business.