Balancing Act

Oct. 1, 2013

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By Robert Hussey

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - It can be difficult to balance being a student, athlete and intern at the same time. Senior Sandy Jean has figured out how it can be done.

Not only is she an All-America hurdler on UCF's track and field team, but she has been getting a taste of life in the athletic department through internship opportunities with the video and marketing departments. She interned with the video department last fall and landed a marketing internship this past summer and will continue to work with marketing through the end of the fall semester.

Jean was ecstatic when describing how she landed her internship with the marketing department.

"[Assistant director of marketing Micheal Garcia] mentioned he had been working on a commercial and as soon as I heard the word commercial, I was like, `Whoa wait! Hey, I'm Sandy! How are you?' I was selling myself to him because I was very interested in his commercial," Jean said. "I told him I was going to send him my resume - he didn't even ask."

You never know when opportunity will come knocking. When it does, you better be ready to open the door. Jean was ready - just as if she were lining up in the blocks for a race, waiting to hear the gun go off.

The commercial ended up being cut due to scheduling, but because of Jean's take-charge attitude, the marketing department offered her an internship opportunity.

Jean has handled a variety of duties this semester, ranging from helping with volleyball theme nights to soliciting involvement from organizations. The more she continues to learn about the athletics field, the more she grows to love it.

"Now that I'm learning about it, I really enjoy going out to meetings and talking to people about our projects and presenting them with our ideas. You know I love to talk," Jean said.

Jean's career aspirations include becoming an on-air correspondent, but surprisingly that wasn't her goal when she first landed her video production internship last fall. She always wanted to be behind the scenes, never imagining herself being on air.

That all changed when Jean was able to conduct an interview for an exclusive UCF-produced video at the NCAA Championships and later interview new head coach Jeanette Bolden when she was hired this past summer.

"I think I prefer being a correspondent because it allows me to be me," Jean said.

Her behind-the-scenes work also tapped into certain traits Jean possesses as an elite performer. While working men's basketball games as a camera operator, she had to be on her game at all times.

"I think the reason I liked it was because you had to make sure you were paying attention and there was a bit of pressure. As an athlete, we like pressure. I enjoyed doing that," Jean said.

After graduation, either this spring or summer, the Miami native plans to attend grad school for mass communications. She is currently an interdisciplinary studies major with a focus in commerce and communications. Jean is also pursuing a minor in mass communications.

Her time spent as a student-athlete has given her some memorable experiences. She has been able to travel and compete against the world's best athletes, but she is equally as grateful for her time spent off the track.

"Being an athlete, it's very hard to brand yourself outside of athletics," Jean stated. "You always have meetings or practice or study hall or weights or treatment. I was very grateful and happy that I was able to land that opportunity with the video internship because it allowed me to see things [behind the scenes]. It allowed me to get my feet wet with my career because I'm a senior and graduation is coming."



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