Watching tennis matches, updating Instagram with videos of famous tennis players, and tweeting about autograph signings seems like a dream internship for any tennis fan, but for sophomore Stephanie Rubin, it was a reality while working with the Winston-Salem Open. For her, the internship was never a boring job; instead, she saw it as a fun and life-changing experience.
With her internship placing her in charge of social media, Rubin used Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to update fans about everything the tournament had to offer, including where fans should go, updates on scores, and what activities were going on, like signing matches and player interviews. “The Winston-Salem Open has its own Facebook site, its own Instagram account, and its own Twitter. I think that the two biggest ones that I used were Instagram and Twitter because we used them throughout the day to update fans. It’s a really great and helpful way to involve the fans more with the whole process and to build buzz around the whole tournament,” Rubin said. “Every day I would post up to six or seven Instagrams of either a big match going on or a good point, and if [John] Isner was playing, I would just get a shot of him serving. Then I would tweet all day long, constantly updating on what matches were going on, what players were being interviewed, who was doing fun things, like if a player was having an autograph signing, and stuff like that.”
As the only intern in her department and as one of the younger people working at the tournament in general, Rubin had a lot of responsibility that came with her job. “In my department, I reported to someone who really was in charge of all the social media, but basically I was on my own all day, roaming the courts, figuring it out. So it was definitely more responsibility than I expected as an intern, but it was the greatest experience.
Getting her weeklong internship took many emails and a couple of meetings with people vital to the Open, but her entire experience helped to prepare her for what she wants to do in the future. “I had known that this Open had existed and heard about it through school, so I just started emailing around, trying to figure out who to contact for it. Eventually I reached Bill Oakes, who runs the tournament, and I met with him on campus at the end of last summer and kind of secured my position,” Rubin said. “I’m majoring in Communications, but I actually want to go to law school! The internship definitely prepared me for what I want to do. I am still not a hundred percent sure about anything I want to do, but I would definitely want to work in sports and entertainment, and with a law degree, I could be a sports agent. So just getting to be in the tournament environment, up close with players and people in that world was like the greatest experience. It gave me a lot of insight into the tennis world, which is a really tight-knit community and I didn’t realize that.”
Overall, Rubin says that the experience was fun, insightful, and memorable. When asked if she would work in the tournament again, she enthusiastically agreed! We’re so glad we got to sit down with a Wake Forest student who is an active participant in the Winston Salem area. We asked Stephanie’s advice on how to land such great internships. Her advice for anyone looking for an internship is: “Email, email, email! Never stop emailing, never stop looking for new people to contact; always shoot out an email because you never know where it’s going to get you. It’s really up to you. You have to be proactive and you have to just really be persistent. So try and contact as many people as you can and stay in contact with them and keep updating them.”