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An Internship with the NFL – with Joe Loughran

Hello! My name is Joe Loughran, and I’m a senior at UNC originally from Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to the Shuford Program, I am majoring in History and minoring in Business.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been passionate about working in sports. From broadcasting and sports reporting in high school to internship with my hometown NFL team, the Falcons, I realized that sports was where I wanted to start my professional career. This passion culminated in my dream internship, working with the National Football League’s Special Events team in New York City.

The NFL’s internship program was an immersive experience into working at the country’s largest professional sports league. Working with the 25+ person event team, I worked on short-term projects such as staff and fan logistics for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend and long-term objectives like rewriting an 80+ page document that outlined the requirements for hosting a Super Bowl. There wasn’t a day that did not have a captivating, challenging project to explore.

Furthermore, outside of my department, I was able to see every facet of the League. Our internship class toured the NFL Films offices in New Jersey and I was able to meet with employees across many different departments in the League. On our last day, we were even able to do a Q&A session with Commissioner Roger Goodell. Being able to go to work each day at the League’s international headquarters on Park Avenue was simply a surreal experience.

Going into the summer, I was unsure about how my internship would relate to my previous studies in entrepreneurship. After all, the NFL is an established company and a leader in its industry, far from a fledging startup. However, as I began working, the lessons I’d learned from teachers such as Buck Goldstein and Charles Merritt flooded in. Customer profiling, target marketing, and being on the forefront of innovation constantly raced through my mind. In massive events such as the Super Bowl or the NFL Draft, our team always looked to improve and figure out how to please a wide variety of customer types. Also, this year marked the NFL’s 100th season, providing us with an insight into the innovative process that went into planning events for such a momentous anniversary.

All in all, I loved my summer working for the National Football League. Without the Shuford Program, I would have lacked some of the skills that made this summer such a success. I hope to establish a career in the sports and entertainment industry, and I have been able to learn the proper skills with the help of the Shuford Program both in my academic and professional experiences up to this point.

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