UW Center for Leadership in Athletics

March 1, 2023

Internship Spotlight: Emily Solomon

Emily Solomon is a current IAL M.Ed. graduate student in the 2022-2023 cohort. Emily grew up in Gilbert, Arizona and completed her undergraduate studies at Whitman College. She is interning with the University of Washington Athletics Department. Emily’s internship position is Sports Information Director (SID) for the UW Gymnastics team. Recently, Emily answered a few questions from Jake Silver, Marketing Specialist for the UW Center for Leadership in Athletics.

This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Q: What motivated you to apply to the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership M.Ed. program?

A: After graduating from Whitman, I did not expect to go back to college graduate school. I had a few different jobs throughout the year after graduating, but none of them were the right fit for me. I knew the head coach of the University of Puget Sound Women’s Basketball team and asked him about jobs in collegiate sports. He recommended the IAL program to me as a great way to build connections and a foundation to pursue a career in athletics. I applied to the program and was accepted to join the IAL 2022-2023 cohort. 

Q: What are the main responsibilities of your internship?

A: As the SID for the UW Gymnastics team, I wear a lot of hats. I update the website with news features, results, photos… pretty much everything you see on the website. I manage and run the team’s social media accounts, create meet notes (gameday programs) for press, and coordinate with internal and external departments, especially the Athletic Department’s marketing and facilities teams. 

Q: Is there anything that has surprised you during your internship so far?

A: The biggest surprise is how much say I have in the creative decisions for the team. I thought I might be in a secondary role and be micromanaged, but I have had so much autonomy in my job!

Q: What have you learned about working in an athletic department?

A: I have learned how an athletic department actually functions. Being a student-athlete at Whitman, I had no idea of all the behind the scenes work that goes on. I now have so much more visibility into what each department does to make events run and the student-athletes experience better. 

Q: What professional development opportunities exist interning with the UW Athletics Departments?

A: Learning from other teams’ Sport Information Directors has been so helpful. There are also frequent Lunch and Learns I can attend. I recently went to one about the Tyee Club, the fundraising arm of the athletic department. The Lunch and Learns are a great opportunity to understand how the parts of an athletic department tie together; and what areas of an athletic department I might be interested in and what areas I am not interested in.

Q: Has the IAL program benefited the successes you have in your internship?

A: Yes, the assignments and classes, specifically about how  each part of an athletic department functions, has made my job a lot easier. From a professional development standpoint, traveling to the NCAA Convention in San Antonio, Texas was a great way to meet, and set up informational interviews with, people from other schools. Also, the workshops we had about creating a strong resume, cover letter, and a well-structured email have come in really handy. 

Q: What do you find most rewarding about your internship experience?

A: That I am constantly growing. I came into this position with not that much knowledge about the sport of gymnastics or what being an SID entails. It has been nice to see my ability to adapt to a new job and new city. Also, it has been so rewarding that this internship is not one of the internships that you are bored at and not doing much at. With all my responsibilities, I am very busy and get so much out of that. This experience is preparing me well for working full-time in an athletic department. I am way more equipped to work in an athletic department now compared to before I became an IAL student.