Ted Haag: IMG Academy

By: Jessica Soko, Career Coach

What was he up to this summer?
Ted Haag was an intern with IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida during the summer of 2013. He worked with their football program along with two other interns. The internship was comprised of three parts: assisting the full time collegiate athletes with their practices, interacting with camper practice, and assisting professional athletes. He assisted such high-profile athletes as Tim Tebow, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Christian Ponder. Ted also set up and cleared the fields before and after every practice. During practices, he worked with the linebacker coach, learning his system and techniques. Ted even received a section to coach himself. He worked alongside Super Bowl winners, former NFL players and an All American Safety as well as some assistants that were from as close as Bettendorf, Iowa!

What strength did he utilize in his internship?
Ted continuously networked.  He shared that meeting new people every day helped him at “breaking out of [his] shell.” He learned that all coaches are different and think differently about certain ideas and to embrace new ideas and strategies.

How did he find out about his internship?
Ted commented, “I knew I wanted to do something hands on with sports, especially football, so I sought out some of the biggest names in the industry. The IMG Academy and head coach Chris Weinke have been widely publicized for quarterback training, particularly in the pre-draft stages of an athlete’s career. I came upon this internship posting when I went to the IMG Academy webpage.”  Going straight to a company’s website is a great way to find out about internship opportunities.

What did his supervisor have to say about his work?
Wade Junco, business manager, said, “Ted showed no weakness in anything that we asked him to do. Ted always had a positive approach, showed a real comprehension of the programs that were being delivered and showed initiative to apply himself if and when it was applicable.”

Why does Ted feel it’s important for students to intern?
Ted feels, “Internships really come down to two things: experience and networking. Internships are an excellent way to gain connections while allowing for the opportunity to show your work ethic and passion for the field. Many companies, such as the IMG Academy, rely heavily on their interns for their daily operation, so when it’s time to hire for full time employees, they go to their intern staff first. Internships are a valuable piece to any resume.”

What advice does he have for future interns?
Ted recommends, “Keep your head down and keep plugging [away]. Most of the work interns do in organizations isn’t glorious, but it is essential to the daily operations of the business. Many times the internship will not be paid and [you] will be asked to work very long hours. It is important to remember why you are there and the benefits you are getting from them letting you into their doors. In the end, you are always being evaluated in everything you do. So be conscious to always strive to stay one step ahead and to get better every day.”

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