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Ole Miss Soccer's Sydney Ash, Retain Summer 2022 Internship Experience

Retain Team
August 5, 2022

OXFORD, MS – My name is Sydney Ash and I am a rising senior at the University of Mississippi. Sports have always been a huge part of my life. Ever since I can remember I played on some sort of team whether it was soccer, lacrosse, or softball. As I got older, I narrowed it down to just playing soccer and lacrosse. Both of my parents played sports in college so it was a dream of mine to play in college ever since I was little. When I got to high school I knew that soccer was the sport I really wanted to play. I was so excited when I got offers to play at the next level.  I could not be happier with my choice to play at Ole Miss.  

Playing sports in college is definitely a huge commitment. It is a challenge balancing your schoolwork, athletics, and social life, especially when you have to travel all around the country to play in games. However, being able to play the sport I love with my teammates is a reward in itself. During the summer months, I go back to my parents house in Virginia. Since I am used to being very busy during the school year, I wanted to find something I could do while I was at home. I was so excited when my school’s Student-Athlete Enhancement Counselor reached out saying that Retain was looking for a digital marketing intern for the summer. I am majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Sales so this fit really well with my skill-set.

Going into this internship, I knew very little about Retain and what they did for student athletes and staff.  But after interviewing with Kevin and seeing the impact that this platform has on student-athletes and their success, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of. Because Kevin was a former student-athlete, he knows all the challenges that staff and athletes go through when coordinating, communicating, and organizing the athlete’s overall schedule and life.  He created Retain to help eliminate all of that stress and complication.  

Retain is able to provide staff a streamlined platform to do anything and everything you can think of for organizing their athletes and all the information that comes with them.  At Ole Miss, our Academic Counselors are using the platform to track every athlete’s schedules, study hall hours, manage tutors and tutoring sessions, communicate upcoming events and news, and so much more. We have about 500 athletes so having the ability to have this information in one set place instead of a million different spreadsheets is something so incredible.  

This was one of the main reasons I knew I wanted to intern with Kevin and the Retain team. Seeing how passionate Kevin, Nikki, Kari, and Jeff were about helping student athletes like myself and reducing stress and complications for staff is something so special. They make it their mission to give each partner exactly what they need for their athletes and staff to thrive and be more efficient in their everyday lives. What I find so incredible is how they adjust their platform to fit each school’s specific needs.

During my internship experience, I have gained real-world work experience that exceeded my expectations. As a intern, I was not sure how involved I would get to be within Retain’s marketing and the company itself. However once I started, I was so excited with how hands-on and the internship was. The team was open to all my ideas and encouraged me to share my opinions and ideas. I was given the freedom to manage Retain’s socials, which included creating fun graphics, videos, Instagram reels, engaging with customers, and following along with our partnering schools. I assisted the team with our new website design, reaching out to customers, obtaining testimonials, and writing press releases.  

My favorite part of my internship experience was the two trips that I went on with the team! We toured one of our partner schools, Saint Francis University, where I saw in action how our platform works in practice and how beneficial it is to our partner institutions. I also traveled with the team to Las Vegas for the NACDA conference. I learned more in those three days than I ever have at my past internships and jobs. I was able to meet and speak to so many people in college athletics and get a real feel for the industry. During the convention, we hosted a Top Golf Event, that was a great opportunity to bring together all of my experiences during my internship. I was able to assist in the planning and management of the event! During the event, I was able to interact with our customers and take some great pictures and videos for our socials! 

Looking back on this summer, I am so thankful I took this opportunity. I gained more from working for Kevin and the Retain team than I would have anywhere else. I learned so many new tips and techniques for digital marketing and how to successfully engage with customers. In addition, I was able to see behind the scenes of Retain and what it takes to operate a successful startup in higher education and intercollegiate athletics space!

ABOUT RETAIN:

Retain Technologies is the leading support platform for intercollegiate athletics. Our mission is simple—we want to streamline the student-athlete experience and provide athletic departments the tools to be more efficient and promote their work. Our products, Retain, Retain+, Omnia, and Disclosures were developed to meet the unique needs and demands of intercollegiate athletic departments.

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