Helping celebrities do what they do best
Famous athletes like 22-time Olympic Gold Medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps don’t have time to deal with everyday responsibilities like paying bills, so they turn to people like Patricia Suarez, a Gallaudet student majoring in business administration, to manage their hectic lives, knowing they are in good hands while they focus on what they do best.

Patricia worked for Phelps, Golden State Warriors basketball player Stephen Curry, retired National Football League running back Emmitt Smith, six-time National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing champion Jimmie Johnson, Cable News Network “Outfront” host Erin Burnett, and other celebrities, as well as major corporations like BMW, Coca Cola, Sprint, and MasterCard, through her internship with Octagon, a global sports and entertainment marketing agency based in McLean, Virginia.

Octagon performs many functions for its clients, such as promoting them to endorse consumer products in advertisements, handling contract negotiations, managing their financial matters, and taking care of legal issues.

Patricia stayed busy during her 10-week internship. She reviewed resumes and matched clients with jobs depending on their area of talent, set up interviews with Octagon’s Human Resources Department, and helped develop a training plan for new personnel managers. Another assignment was to conduct an analysis of 25 other internship programs in the sporting and entertainment industry and make recommendations on how Octagon’s opportunities for internships can be enhanced.

In addition, Patricia had opportunities to learn more about the sports and entertainment marketing business by attending presentations on branding, sports management, and other topics. She also talked with staff about their education and career paths.

Patricia found her internship through Gallaudet’s Career Center. She told the center’s staff that she had become interested in human resources and marketing after taking the University’s “Introduction to Human Resources” course and wanted an internship in these fields. “Classes can help you decide what you want for a career,” she said.

Learning as much as possible about a complex profession such as this was a challenge for Patricia. She had weekly meetings by video conferencing and telephone relay with Octagon’s offices across the nation. The Career Center trained Octagon staff on how to communicate effectively with her.

Patricia advises students to get as much internship experience as they can. “You get experience from different internships, and you take that experience with you when you graduate,” she said. “I am planning to pursue a master’s degree in human resources management because of my Octagon internship.”

Patricia was motivated to attend Gallaudet not only because of the University’s good reputation but its location in the Nation’s Capital. She enjoys Gallaudet’s close proximity to museums, famous landmarks, and restaurants. She gets around using the city’s Metro system (one station is a few blocks from campus) and bicycle (a Capital Bikeshare station for bicycle rentals is on campus). “In D.C. you can see and learn everything, since it has a huge diversity of people,” Patricia said. Everything is here for your advantage.”
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