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What I did this summer: ESPN internship in London during the 2012 Olympics

September  24, 2012

(Editor's note: Erik Chellberg is a senior from Gilberts, Ill., majoring in business administration and marketing.)

By Erik Chellberg

Erik Chellberg

When faced with the question of how my summer was, I feel that no answer I give could ever sufficiently do justice to the endless memories and experiences that the summer of 2012 provided.  From holding the Olympic torch to meeting American Olympians to witnessing the United States win a gold medal, not many people are privileged enough to experience any one of these events, let alone all three. 

Before I completely give away my entire summer experience, let me take a step back. This past summer, five other Augustana students and I spent six weeks abroad interning and studying in London. Through the collective work of the Augustana study abroad and CAPA London programs, we were placed in six fantastic internships located around central London and housed in an outstanding flat just outside the city. 

As a marketing student, I was hopeful for an internship placement that would benefit my future and look good on my résumé. As an avid sports fan, I was looking for an internship in which I would be surrounded by sports and have fun. Incredibly, I was given the opportunity to experience both a personally enriching and sports-filled internship at the ESPN branch in London. 

Working every day for their marketing research team, I was responsible for constructing daily overnight reports detailing the prior day's television ratings data for ESPN and their competitors. Along with overnight reports and several minor responsibilities, at the end of each month I analyzed the performance of ESPN's international ratings in South Africa, Italy, and Poland. Thanks to the office big-screen televisions, I was even able to watch the Olympics from my desk at work. After six weeks of working for ESPN, I have gained invaluable insight about the business side of ESPN and the day-to-day work that makes this network so successful.

Aside from spending 120 total hours at our internship sites, we had the opportunity to experience some amazing things in London this summer, the most obvious being the 2012 London Summer Olympics. I find it hard to explain what it is like living in a city that is hosting the Olympics; I guess the best way to describe it would be chaotic.  London was home to millions of tourists this summer from all around the world, and we got to encounter people from nearly every country and culture. 

Augustana interns Kelli Linder and Erik Chellberg with an Olympic torch bearer.

 

Much like nearly all of the Londoners, we cashed in on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and bought tickets to the women's soccer final.  I and three other Augustana students (Kelli Linder, Ashley Buelt, and Sara Strever,) along with two of our roommates, saw the USA women win gold over Japan. Needless to say, it was the most exciting and nerve-racking environment I have ever experienced.

Fortunately, this was not my only exposure to the Olympics. Before the Games began, Kelli Linder and I just happened to walk past one of the Olympic torch bearers after he finished his portion of the torch relay. Upon learning we were American students, we were immediately ushered forward to take pictures with the torch. Incredibly, I had one further Olympic moment; thanks to my father's networks, I was given two day-passes into the USA House. This is where American Olympians gathered to watch the Games and relax with their families. My Ole Miss roommate and I had an amazing time meeting several Olympians and other amazing people that made the London Summer Olympics as spectacular as they were. 

When we weren't struck with Olympic fever, we did all the traditional touristy London things. From walking through Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens to seeing Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, there were not many things that we missed out on during our six weeks abroad. We even found time to travel up to the Harry Potter exhibit, where we saw many of the live sets and props from all eight Harry Potter films. Unfortunately not all was positive during our summer in London: We all spent a lot of money at Harrods and were afraid to look at our bank statements for the next few days. 

All these good times would not have been the same without the amazing people we meet through our study abroad program. We all were extremely lucky and had fantastic roommates from all across the United States that made our study abroad experience even more enjoyable. All in all, with much thanks to Augustana College and CAPA London, I gained immeasurable knowledge about different cultures, made friendships that will last a lifetime, lived in London during one of the most exciting periods in its history, and worked at a sports industry-leading company during the Olympics.

I would say that the summer of 2012 was a success.