A Little Background
On Belmont Day in the summer of 2019, I met with Shona Rosenblum, Co-Founder of Grand Slam Social. Other than a few back-and-forth emails, I wasn’t exactly sure what would come of this meeting. I knew they were looking for a Summer Intern, but at the current time, I already had a full-time job. With that being said, I had been a long-time fan and follower of Grand Slam Social and was extremely excited to have the opportunity to meet with Shona.
The Start of Beautiful Work Relationship
After our quick meeting on the morning of Belmont day, (where I immediately knew I wanted to work with GSS and felt that Shona and I would work well together.) It was decided my “test run” so to speak would be helping out during the races that day, which included a few Breeders’ Cup Challenge races, I was more than happy to assist! I had a view of the madness behind the scenes action, I knew I wanted more! A few weeks later I received my formal hiring letter and by the last week in June of 2019, I became Grand Slam Social’s newest intern.
Now you must be thinking, this is a lot of background, get to the tips already! It is next, I promise. But I truly felt a little background knowledge of how my time at GSS began was integral to my own personal story.
Say Yes to Everything, OK Almost Everything
Have you ever watched the movie “Yes Man” with the actor Jim Carey? I don’t mean you need to say yes to literally EVERYTHING. But, I do think there is a happy medium between being hands-on and overdoing it. Within my first few weeks of interning, I was onboarded, met with the rest of the amazing GSS team and was taught the ropes on which accounts I would be assisting with that summer. For the time being, Breeders’ Cup was my full focus, and I was more than happy with that.
In July 2019, I received a call from Shona saying they last minute needed someone to accompany her to Monmouth, New Jersey for the Haskell. (A Breeders’ Cup Classic Challenge race.) Right away I knew I was going to say yes, I knew this kind of hands-on experience was perfect for learning quickly. I told her I would be happy to go, and before I knew it a few days later I was on my flight to New Jersey. This is another story I felt was important to my quick learning as an intern if I hadn’t said yes to the trip, there are so many things I wouldn’t have been able to learn right away or spend those few days with Shona (nothing greater than one-on-one time with your Boss!)
That trip was the perfect opportunity for an intern, I was thrown in right away and shown exactly what a challenge race day is like, what goes on beforehand, during, and the after. And I like to think for the rest of my career, that will always be one of my favorite, if not my favorite memories with Grand Slam.
Ask Questions, Even if You Don’t Want To!
It really is true, there are no bad questions, this is how we LEARN. And it is such an important part of an internship. In fact, the definition of an intern below:
Intern: (noun) a person who works as an apprentice or trainee in an occupation or profession to gain practical experience, and sometimes also to satisfy legal or other requirements for being licensed or accepted professionally.
Throughout the course of my internship, I tried to ask as many questions as possible. Our job is different from most in the sense that we work remotely, and also travel a lot for our jobs. Which for me, was a huge positive, it’s not for everyone but it works for me! After my trip to New Jersey in July, it was time to go back to San Diego and help Molly (Co-Founder of Grand Slam Social) on the West Coast. I had a great time getting to know Molly and loved kind of having a feel for how the challenge race days were supposed to go. I really was lucky enough to have the best of both worlds, working with both Molly & Shona hands-on, and also working on both coasts.
My family had planned on spending the month of August in Saratoga, New York, which coincidentally was the perfect unplanned destination for the remainder of my internship. Saratoga Racetrack held multiple challenge races, as well as a few of Grand Slam Social’s other clients, held events and sales during the summer season of Saratoga.
It was during the month of August where I really learned I loved my internship and knew I would want a full-time job with Grand Slam Social. I started to really try and involve myself with whichever events, races, or meetings I could to fully embrace the one-on-one time I had with Molly & Shona, but also the rest of the team who I got to work with that summer. Challenge race days are always a mix of fun, stress, a lot of work, but it all pays off. The fun and excitement of watching the starting gate open, the winner’s circle victories, and the end of the day pride of what we worked on that day. I also was able to help with the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, another side of work I had never had the chance to participate in, a whole different feel from helping out during race days. I learned I loved the change of pace the job offered, no day was the same.
Start Thinking About Your Future
During the summer, both Shona & Molly had made little comments here or there about wanting me to become a full-time member of GSS, but we hadn’t gone into the details of this. I knew that if it was something I really was interested in and wanted to happen, that I should bring it up to them.
This is what I mean when I say “Start Thinking About Your Future,” have a goal and reach for it, which is exactly what I began to do in Fall 2019. Leading up to Breeders’ Cup 2019, I knew that time of year is our busiest and that the actual conversation about hiring me full-time would need to wait until November. BC 19 was exactly that! Busy, fun, and crazy, but once the first weekend in November was completed, Molly set up a dinner for her and me to discuss the next steps for me.
I was really excited about the dinner, and even more anxious to hear what could be next for me, considering I already knew I wanted to be part of the team! We went over what kind of role they saw for me to follow and where I could best help them. By January 2020 I was offered a full-time position of Account Coordinator, and by February 2020 I had my first day as an Account Coordinator! It really does seem fast looking back, I went from Intern to Full-Time in a span of a little over 6 months, but the time really flew by, and I still cannot believe how much I learned in such a small amount of time.
I know my story is probably very similar to a lot of others out there, but I do hope that if you have one takeaway from my own story, it is that you make what you get out of an experience. Say yes to trying new things, say yes to the last minute trip, say yes to covering the event you know nothing about! All of these types of instances made up for a jam-packed internship that then shaped me into a full-time employee. I can’t wait to continue learning and working with the Grand Slam Social team, and I hope you too find the place that makes you happy.