Redefining the Modern Internship: Where Work and Sport Intersect

Redefining the Modern Internship: Where Work and Sport Intersect

By: Ashleen Bandesha
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Established in 2013, Fortius Sport & Health is an integrated athlete development centre located in Burnaby. This sports mecca encompasses everything under one roof. Their fitness & training centre, FIFA-standard pitch, double-gymnasium, human performance lab, sport science and medicine institute, 50-room lodge and chef-inspired bistro are accessible to athletes of all ages and abilities. It’s simple: If you are committed to a sporting, recreational or active lifestyle goal, you're an athlete.

This mission is what initially drew me to Fortius as I have always been committed to leading an active lifestyle through both sport and play. For me, being an athlete is inclusive of anyone who has a body and is motivated to reach their goals. I drew inspiration from this unique definition. As an intern, I came in to work every day ready to take on my goals no matter how big or small they were.

Working Out at Work

One of the striking things that I noticed about Fortius’ office culture was the organization’s commitment to employee well-being. I remember seeing my colleagues come through the doors in the mornings with workout bags and water bottles. As soon as lunch time rolled around the corner, many of them would be on their way to the Training Centre or Pitch to get a workout in.

Soon after my first few days, I got involved with the weekly staff workouts. Every Tuesday I regained balance and core control with Pilates Mat Classes and on Wednesdays and Fridays, I sweated up a storm in StaffSTRONG (small group training sessions). On the days that I exercised at work, I found that I was much more productive and refreshed. I also built relationships with colleagues outside of my department while reaping the physical benefits of exercise at the same time. 

Channeling Confidence as a Writer

One of my goals in the beginning of this Co-op was to improve my promotional writing skills and thankfully, there were no shortage of opportunities to guide me to the ‘write’ path.

As the Marketing & Events Assistant, one of my responsibilities was to research and write blog posts for our monthly newsletter. For the month of June, we did a feature on the athletes from Rowing Canada who enjoyed a week-long stay at the lodge. This was an exciting piece for me to write because I helped bring it to life, from the interviewing process to the actual creative direction and writing of the article. Titled, “A Sit Down with Rowing Canada”, the essay featured direct quotes from the interviews with the athletes to master the art of subtle and organic promotion.

As I continued to take on more pieces, with constructive feedback from my supervisor, I found myself getting comfortable with the idea of adding a personal touch to my writing. I kept things simple and transparent for our readers and made sure to always tie the articles back to the services offered by Fortius. It was a very rewarding experience, taking ownership of these blog pieces and seeing them published online. Thanks to these opportunities, I recognized that writing, is in fact, one of my strengths.

Redefining Social Media Presence

Think running an organization’s social media account is as easy as 1, 2, ‘tweet’? Think again. You must make sure that your messaging is consistent, the content is engaging and that a call to action is included, all the while keeping in mind the best practices of different social media platforms. Whether it was drafting up social posts for the day or live tweeting an event, I learned that there’s no such thing as aimless posts, especially on a business’ social media page. After helping manage the social media accounts for Fortius, I am glad to have discovered a passion for working behind the scenes.

BD, Not Beedie

During my time at Fortius, I was also an active member of the Business Development team. Every Thursday I looked forward to our BD meetings, wanting to know what each of my teammates had been working on during the week as well as the challenges and highlights of their work. We truly encompassed the clichés of teamwork by offering each other support in times of need and celebrating our successes together.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun. In the blink of an eye, my 9 weeks at Fortius Sport & Health came to an end. I felt fulfilled at the end of my placement as I reflected on my contribution and the direct impact I had made on the growing company. I could have easily chosen to hide behind my introversion, but instead I took control of the opportunities that were given to me and oh, was it worth it! 

Beyond the Article

  • To learn about opportunities like Ashleen's, visit the Beedie Business Co-op homepage. 
  • Not sure what to expect from your co-op work term? Fellow Beedie student, Susan Nguyen breaks down the first 100 days of co-op
Posted on October 22, 2017