Interns rev up career tracks at Charlotte Motor Speedway

07/18/2014 12:00 AM

07/23/2014 3:31 PM

Student internships at the Charlotte Motor Speedway are giving college students and recent graduates valuable work experience in the exciting world of racing.

Students may apply until Oct. 1 for the spring 2015 season, which will begin in January.

“What other kind of sporting event brings in more than 100,000 people?” said Whitney Gibson, tours, internship and STEM program manager. “We’re unique in that way.”

Unpaid internships are available in a number of different departments, including graphic arts, marketing, sales, finance and security.

The speedway’s tracks are used more than 100 days a year for various events, including the May and October races and smaller races in between, the Summer Shootout Series, car shows, auto fairs, drag racing, concerts and track rentals.

“We rely heavily on our interns,” Gibson said, adding that each department averages two interns, and 20 to 25 positions are available per semester. Individual departments conduct interviews with promising applicants.

Gibson said interns have ample opportunity to work with other departments and shadow staff members in other areas.

Anyone can apply, and applicants don’t have to be earning school credit. “In some cases they’re working to get their foot in the door or are doing it post-graduation while job searching,” said Gibson.

“For events, we’re looking for self-starters who can multitask and are good with customer service,” said Gibson. “We need positive attitudes and a willingness to learn.”

Megan Johnson, event publicist at Charlotte Motor Speedway and a former intern who studied at UNC Charlotte, said, “We keep our interns very busy. They help with social media, press releases, press conferences, event media relations, Web videos and media tracking.

“Previous public relations experience and good writing skills are a plus.”

Gibson said, “Whatever they put into it, they’ll get out of it. If they take the initiative and dive in, they’ll learn a lot more. We have so much to offer here.”

“Lots of former interns come back and say that their internship really helped them to get ready for the real world,” Johnson said.

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