RLS Internship Program Benefits UMO Students and Alumni

RLS Internship Program Benefits UMO Students and Alumni

Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

Article by Grayson Morgan, Student Intern

MOUNT OLIVE – The Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) Department at the University of Mount Olive (UMO) had 31 interns in the spring semester, and at least 13 of those were supervised by UMO RLS alumni. Two of those students, DaShawn Davis and Raul Hernandez, shared their experiences and insights from their internships.

DaShawn Davis, an RLS generalist major with a minor in coaching, interned at the Bryan Multi-Sport Complex in Goldsboro. During the 480-hour internship, he applied and reinforced skills he learned in the classroom such as communication, time management, networking, and adaptability. A forward on the Trojan basketball team, Davis also refereed many games for the city of Goldsboro, trained youth, and taught them new game strategies. “I learned that time management is very important in this line of work,” Davis said.

Davis built a close relationship with his supervisor, who was also an alumnus of UMO, and learned that ups and downs are a part of the recreation field. His biggest takeaway was the knowledge and connections that he gained during the internship. “The experience I had was amazing! I made tons of connections and built relationships with the youth and the employees.”

Davis graduated from Hartsville High School in 2018.  He earned his bachelor’s degree from UMO in May of this year.  His immediate plans are to move to Greensboro and work with his dad while searching for a fulltime position within the RLS field.   DaShawn is the son of Valerie Davis and Bobby Washington.

Raul Hernandez, a sports management major, interned with the UMO Athletics Department.  His responsibilities included creating graphics, setting up promotional materials, and working the scoreboards for sporting events. Hernandez strengthened his communication skills and built connections with other coaches.  He learned more about different sports and their rules and regulations.

Hernandez sees a future in the sports industry and wants to become a college athletic director. He credits his parents as his biggest motivators and the diversity of the people he’s met at UMO as what he has enjoyed most about his time there. Hernandez graduated from West Brunswick High School in 2018.  He graduated from UMO in May.  His immediate plans are to work for Conference Carolinas.  Hernandez is the son of Maria Cruz and Felix Hernandez of Nakina, NC.

“Our department is unique in requiring a full-time 12-week internship prior to graduation,” said Jill Mills, Chair of the RLS Department. “Students love this opportunity to learn hands-on before stepping into the real world. It brings what they’ve learned in the classroom to learning in real time, often leading to their first professional job. It’s really special when one of our former majors is supervising a current Trojan!”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.