A Web of Opportunity
I first met Josh Lewis at the Roaring Fork High School Job Fair in 2009 and soon after I began a summer internship at Blue Tent Marketing. I would have been ecstatic to know that four years later I would be studying public relations and advertising at Chapman University in Orange, CA, that I would once again be working with Blue Tent Marketing, and that this internship and the internet would help me to pursue my athletic passion: kiteboarding.
The internet has always intrigued me. It is like nothing else on this planet because it creates an opportunity for billions of people to communicate simultaneously across international and physical boundaries. The sharing of information has grown exponentially through the use of the internet while the increasing popularity and demand for the internet has created more room for web-based jobs and therefore more freedom for those who seek a nomadic or flexible lifestyle.
I have been an avid kiteboarder for about five years now. Kiteboarding requires a flexible schedule and for this reason I have yet to commit enough time to hone my skills and more seriously pursue this passion of mine. In Southern California (where I will be spending the summer and studying for the remainder of the year) the wind kicks up in the afternoon from about 1 pm to 5 or 6 pm. This means that in order to kiteboard, it is important to have a job with flexible hours. By working over the internet for Blue Tent Marketing I will be able to make my passion become a reality because I can set aside the mornings for work while leaving the afternoons open for play.
The web creates endless opportunities for me, and other kiteboarders, not only because it gives athletes the opportunity to create a flexible career, but also because there is no longer a need to stand on the beach, wind-meter in hand, and wait for the wind to pick up. All kiteboarders need to do nowadays is check one of the countless online sites that show wind speed, direction and air temperature. My favorite website is WindFinder. On top of sites for wind reports, there are kiteboarding Facebook pages for specific beaches which include details about rules and regulations, safety hazards, information on the best places to launch and land kites and a discussion forum for kiters in the area. There are also many individual websites that have similar purposes. Before showing up at Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CA, I had already made friends via Facebook with a girl who kiteboards, knows the beach well and is also eighteen years old. It was a relief to know that I was already building a community at the beach before I even arrived and that I would be riding in the safety of a group all summer long.
Having a job that allows me kiteboard in the afternoons is definitely a plus, but for me, an internship at Blue Tent Marketing is a step towards a successful career of which I am passionate about. In the past year I have become a member of the higher academic community and I have begun to plan my future and my career. I have always believed that school is important, but I also believe that hands-on experience is an equally important form of education. By working for Blue Tent Marketing I will be pursuing “real world” experience while keeping my brain sharp for the school year to come. My main goals for this summer internship are to improve my writing skills, improve my networking skills, expand my knowledge of online marketing strategies, and learn to update websites using a content managment system such as WordPress and Drupal. By striving to reach these goals I will be setting myself up for a successful school year in the highly competitive public relations and advertising major at Chapman University. I have also always wanted to start my own business someday and these skills will be vital in reaching that goal. I hope to bring a youthful presence to Blue Tent Marketing and its clients and my work will reflect my curious, contemporary, and ever-maturing worldview.
By creating a community of kiteboarders this summer while honing my communication, networking, marketing, writing and content management skills, I will be opening doors for a possible professional public relations or advertising career in the kiteboarding world. I have already worked writing biographies for the professional athletes for the Lord of the Wind Showdown (an international kiteboarding and windsurfing competition in Los Barriles, Mexico) and after working with Blue Tent Marketing for the summer, I hope to be more qualified to take my position at the event to the next level. It is exciting that my athletic passion and career paths are beginning to merge. I am ready and excited to challenge my brain this summer, I look forward to once again working with Josh and the Blue Tent team, and I am thankful that they are passionate about supporting me, a Carbondale local, in my quest for knowledge and a career in California.