UW Center for Leadership in Athletics

March 6, 2024

IAL Internship Spotlight: Victoria Gevaudan


Victoria Gevaudan is an IAL M.Ed. graduate student who is currently interning as a Graduate Assistant for Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) at the University of Washington. Victoria recently sat down with Jake Silver from the University of Washington Center for Leadership in Athletics to answer a few questions about her experience so far in the IAL program.

This interview has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Q: How has your perspective on sports and athletics evolved since joining the IAL program?

A: Before joining the IAL program, my perspective on sports and athletics largely came from my experience as a student-athlete. Competing at two different power five institutions, one private and one public, has been extremely eye-opening. This year has allowed me to peek behind the curtain of college athletics, witnessing the extensive work that goes into shaping my student-athlete experience. Also, the NCAA Convention broadened my understanding of the scope of college athletics. Meeting individuals with diverse backgrounds in various sports, conferences, and divisions expanded my view beyond what is portrayed in the media. The convention and the program have enabled me to delve deeper into the complexities of collegiate athletics and sports as a whole, emphasizing the significance of sports in educational systems and society.

Q: Reflecting on your time in the IAL program, how has it influenced your leadership style, especially in the context of working in collegiate athletics?

A: Throughout the IAL program, I have been challenged to reflect on and adapt my leadership style. While I have a lot of experience leading in a sports setting, my approach changes when considering professional roles in athletics or the classroom. Core leadership principles such as discipline, consistency, and communication skills remain, but that works differently between practice and a professional environment. Completing DISC assessments in the class has made me more aware of my leadership style, and caused me to reflect constantly on how my actions align with my values and who I want to be as a person.

Q: What are the main responsibilities of your internship, and what do you enjoy most about it?

A: In my internship, I assist in reviewing and disclosing student-athlete NIL contracts, compiling NIL data into reports, and engaging with UW’s NIL collective. Working with the NIL team and interacting with student-athletes are the highlights of my job. Mentors like Haven Fields, Jamaal Walton, Sam Schwartz, Maya Bulger, and Brett Sible have been invaluable. I appreciate their enthusiasm and a willingness to push the envelope in the NIL space. Hearing creative ways student-athletes are getting involved with the NIL space and maximizing opportunities outside their sport has been inspiring.

Q: Have you had the opportunity to apply knowledge you have gained from the IAL program at your internship?

A: Yes, the IAL program’s emphasis on intentionality has been crucial in my internship, especially in dealing with a student-athlete’s image and brand. We try to encourage athletes to be authentic in who they are working with and what they choose to invest their time in outside of sport. NIL is really a great opportunity for student-athletes to get some professional business experience all while making a little extra money, but at UW we really try to make sure we do that in an authentic and real way. Also, equity is another focus in the IAL program that was threaded throughout my entire IAL experience and extremely relevant to NIL, as many thought that NIL would exacerbate gender inequality in sports. Throughout my internship experience, I have been looking for ways to help bridge the inequality gap, as NIL is truly a great opportunity for all athletes. 

Q: How do you balance the competitive demands of being a Division 1 collegiate athlete, being a graduate student, and being a graduate assistant?

A: It’s all about making the most of your time and keeping your long term goals in mind. I care a lot about school and rowing and obviously want to perform well in each, so that’s in the forefront of my mind whenever I’m making decisions. My coach, Yaz, talks a lot about being present. When I’m at practice, all I’m thinking about is the quality of work I’m putting in and how I’m helping my boat go as fast as possible. When I’m at my internship or doing schoolwork, I try to keep rowing out of my mind and focus on the task at hand. This goes for my free time as well. When I’m hanging out with friends or checking in with my family, I really try to be in those moments and not doing other things. By doing this, I’m getting the most out of each aspect of my life, and it truly helps me enjoy them more.

Q: What has been the most rewarding part of the IAL program so far?

A: The most rewarding aspect of the IAL program has been reflecting on my personal growth and watching my classmates succeed. I am a different person than I was a few months ago coming into the program, and that positive change is completely due to my professors and classmates. Through them I have learned a lot about myself and how I want to contribute to the sports industry. I also love seeing my classmates throughout the day at work and hearing about their internships and celebrating their achievements. We’ve spent a lot of time together, so we are a close knit group, and I love seeing them go after their goals.

Q: Could you share a valuable lesson or piece of advice you’ve received from a mentor within the IAL program, and how it has impacted your approach to your career aspirations in sports?

A: A valuable lesson from my mentor and IAL instructor, Marsa Daniel, has been to approach athletics with a critical lens and challenge norms. With my STEM and athletics background, I am interested in sports performance, and elevating women in sports. Marsa shares both of those passions and has a rowing background, so we have similar approaches to athletics. She has encouraged me to look at systems within athletics with a critical lens and challenge the norms in sports. Additionally, in her sports performance class, I learned the importance of language, and how it can shape athletic experiences. She has challenged me to be clear in my thought processes and dig beyond surface level understanding, which I appreciate. Because of Marsa, I try to be extremely deliberate in both my actions and words. As I navigate my internship and professional career, I look at how the sports industry can be improved and how I can play a role in that.

Q: What advice would you give to incoming students considering the IAL program?

A: The best advice I have received applies to both sports and life: be comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m from Pittsburgh and I had moved to Seattle two days before summer session began, literally knowing no one here. To say I was uncomfortable on my first week of class is an understatement. The IAL program has pushed me outside of my comfort zone in a lot of ways, but through these moments I’ve learned to trust myself and appreciate my growth. A lot of great conversations and opportunities have popped up for me this year by following this advice.

Pictures from a recent NIL event that Victoria assisted with at Husky Stadium.