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Time with the Triumph was #InternshipGoals for student

Gracie Carroll ’25 works on the field during a Greenville Triumph match in Paladin Stadium as part of her Summer 2023 internship with the soccer club.

Last updated August 16, 2023

By Furman News

Before this summer, Gracie Carroll ’25 would not have called herself a soccer fan.

“Not even a little bit,” said the communication studies major and visual strategy minor. “I played in middle school, but I don’t know much about soccer. I didn’t know the lingo.”

But these days, thanks to her summer internship, Carroll frequently finds herself on the field at Paladin Stadium with a United Soccer League League One team, snapping pics and live-tweeting the matches. With the Greenville Triumph and its associated pre-professional women’s club, the Greenville Liberty, she has been getting on-the-pitch training not only in soccer lingo but also in the skills she plans to take with her after graduation into a marketing career.

Team members and staff of the Greenville, South Carolina-based soccer clubs were extremely helpful to her and the interns from other schools, Carroll said, explaining particulars of the sport like the offside rule and red cards versus yellow cards.

Tools and tricks of the trade

Building on prior experience as a social media intern for Furman University Admissions, marketing director for the Chi Omega sorority and vice president of public relations for the Furman University Student Activities Board , Carroll’s duties this summer included helping maintain the club’s Twitter and TikTok accounts, editing and updating its website and writing email newsletters. She’s become adept in MailChimp and WordPress, software tools she expects to encounter frequently in her chosen profession.

“I’ve learned how to professionally convey an idea over social media,” she said. “I’ve also gotten a lot better at organization and scheduling – the whole name of the game in social media is that you have to time things out.”

She also gained an appreciation of targeting and tailoring messages to reach different audiences.

“I do different things when I’m tweeting as the Triumph versus the Liberty versus writing a newsletter about the kids’ camp,” she said.

From rookie to ringer

She discovered the internship during an Express Paladin Career Trek visiting professional sports teams in Greenville. During the tour, sponsored by the Malone Center for Career Engagement, Carroll got a chance to network with a senior executive for the Triumph, and she followed up with the organization at a later Malone Center Career and Internship Fair.

Structured internship courses are included in many of Furman’s academic departments, noted Janna Pennington, a lecturer in communication studies and instructor of Carroll’s internship course. Such opportunities provide a clear example of The Furman Advantage, an educational framework that provides every student an individualized educational pathway and opportunities for high-impact learning experiences, she said.

“Gracie has gotten the chance to apply her knowledge and see how marketing and communications works in the real world,” said Pennington. “Employers are looking for students who not only have knowledge but also know how to apply it in a professional setting.”

In the coming academic year, Carroll will be back on the sidelines, reporting live on Furman Paladin games for her Sports Reporting course. Going from soccer rookie to ringer in the course of one summer has made her confident that she can pivot quickly to drive toward wherever the next goal is.

“Moving forward, I definitely will keep more of an open mind when looking at different job opportunities,” she said. “I was hesitant to interview for the soccer club internship, because I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what if they ask me about soccer stuff? I have no idea what I’m talking about.’ But now, I know that if you just put in a little extra time and effort, it won’t be as hard as you think it’s going to be.”

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