Michael Reodica, a business administration major at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), didn’t have to jump through hoops to land his new gig as an intern for the Los Angeles Clippers, but it wasn’t exactly a slam dunk either.
Working with Marcela Rojas, internship coordinator for the university’s College of Business Administration and Public Policy, who worked with the Career Center to secure student access to the internships, Reodica crafted a professional cover letter to include with his resume to help get his “dream job” with the Clippers.
“That letter made a big difference. I love the NBA and watched basketball a lot while growing up. I also play fantasy basketball and basketball video games,” said Reodica, an Alaska native who currently lives in the dormitories on campus. “I already know a lot of the players on the team, the new management, and what’s going on behind the scenes. It’s really the best job ever.”
Reodica and his fellow classmates Daisy Salgado and Krockett Reyes, who are all business administration seniors with a concentration in sports entertainment and hospitality management at CSUDH, began their paid internships with the Clippers this spring. The team is currently ranked fifth in the NBA’s Western Conference and second in the Pacific Division.
“I didn’t’ know a thing about basketball, but I gave it a try and now I love it,” said Salgado, a Baldwin Park resident. “Working for the Clippers is definitely a new experience. I think it’s pretty cool.”
The interns only work when the Clippers are playing at home in the Staples Center and have only staffed one game so far. They all perform pregame fan-based activities on the court, such as Fan Central, Autograph Alley, the Photo Tunnel and High Five Kids.
Salgado believes “it’s been a good journey so far” and looks forward to acquiring the new types of communication skills that come with the internship, getting to know the fans, and how professional sports function.
“I love doing Autograph Alley,” said Salgado, who claims Blake Griffin as her favorite Clipper. “I get to talk and mingle with season ticket holders. I ask them who their favorite players are and try to get to know who they are and how they became Clippers fans.”
The students have also attended basketball clinics with team members to teach kids about basketball and the importance of exercise and staying active.
“We worked a clinic recently and I got to meet several players–CJ Wilcox, Dahntay Jones, Hedo Turkoglu, and Glen Davis–while helping out with the kids,” said Reodica, who likes Clipper DeAndre Jordan the best and believes he doesn’t receive the credit he deserves as a player. “I talked to Hedo for a while. He was cool. CJ Wilcox is great. He’s good with the fans and gives a lot of autographs and takes photos. He’s very down to Earth.”
Reyes is a Carson resident who has played basketball all his life, including a stint as a shooting guard with the CSU Dominguez Hills men’s basketball team.
“It’s great getting to understand the operational side of professional sports,” he said. “This is really a great step in the right direction for us. My hope is it will open doors to work in professional sports, particularly the NBA. I’ve received such great insight so far, and the internship has just started.”
Reodica’s professional aspirations after graduation are already clear.
“I’ve always wanted to work for a professional basketball team,” he said. “In the future I’d like to work within the operational and business side of the sport. I’ll try to work my way up the ladder in the Clippers organization. It’s a great team.”