“As one door closes another door opens.” As I reflect on the past couple of weeks and on my current role as a SIDAR Intern, I can’t help but to think about how my “full-time” job prior to this was to be a student, do what I love and to wear the block R. I was a gymnast for nineteen years—spending upwards of forty hours a week in the gym. Growing up, gymnastics was the only thing that drove me from one day to the next. I was homeschooled from 3rd grade all the way through high school. My hard work and dedication paid off and I earned a full scholarship to attend Rutgers. I spent the past five years as a member of the Rutgers Gymnastics team and a total of nineteen years in the sport of gymnastics. I have to close the door on something that has defined me for so long and open up the door to the working world. Before becoming a part of SIDAR I was completely lost and had no idea what was in store for me.
Every Monday morning I no longer wake up and go to practice, but I do wake up and get to be a part of a team where I can make a difference and help Rutgers Athletics become what I always dreamed it could be. I may not get to learn a new athletic skill and compete on a Big Ten stage, but I get to share my experiences as a student-athlete. I get to be a helping hand to ensure future student-athletes have the tools to thrive on a championship level in their sport, in the classroom, and for the rest of their lives. I have seen and experienced first-hand how far behind Rutgers is in comparison to our fellow Big Ten schools when it comes to resources. I have the opportunity to share what I have learned and help the development officers change the future of Rutgers Athletics. This is the perfect way to turn my passion for gymnastics and sports into a career.
SIDAR has given me the opportunity to find a new passion and meet some amazing people. SIDAR is not your ordinary internship. My unit within athletics makes me look forward to work every day and they have done a great job to create a learning environment where I feel comfortable asking as many questions a day as I need, in order to understand why and how we do certain things for our donor constituency. The Athletic Development unit really made us feel like we were a part of the family on our first day. The other SIDAR interns have been great to work with and have become some of my best friends. Every Friday we learn from other departments and even other organizations outside of the Rutgers University Foundation. SIDAR has given me the tools to grow not only in the development field, but in any field I choose to pursue in the future. I feel prepared and excited for this next chapter of my life. SIDAR will always be here for me no matter where I go or what I choose to do. Without SIDAR and all the people involved I would still be a lost graduate with uncertainty about my passion and direction. It is bittersweet that this program is ending soon, but I am forever grateful for this opportunity and I am beyond excited to see what my future holds because of the experience I’ve been equipped with.
SIDAR, Athletic Development