I have the good fortune of actually working two different internships during my summer between my first and second year here at the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. I am currently in Macau working for Wynn Resorts at their Macau Casino. The second half of the summer will be spent New York City working for Excel Sports Management.
If you aren’t familiar with Macau, it’s a small island off the coast of Southeastern China. It is one of two Special Administrative Regions of China, with Hong Kong being the other. Macau is the gaming capital of Asia, currently earning six times the gaming revenue of Las Vegas. As I mentioned I am working for Wynn’s hotel and casino here, specifically in their planning and analysis division. I just started my fifth week and while I’m working in financial planning and analysis, I spent the first four weeks writing a market analysis report on a few gaming competitors here in Macau. Wynn is in the process of building a second casino here in the region and my managers wanted a report on the casino offerings in the vicinity of Wynn’s new casino. This included an analysis of each competitor’s financials to their varying customer segments. It was a great opportunity for me to learn about the gaming industry because as you can imagine, it’s extremely unique. In addition, it familiarized me with how business operates here in Macau. For the next few weeks I will be working on the financial planning of smaller projects within the current operations and/or the new hotel/casino.
As I mentioned above, second internship will take me to New York to intern for Excel Sports Management. Excel is a full service sports management and marketing agency that represents some of the top athletes in the NBA, MLB, and on the PGA Tour. There I will assist in marketing and the brand management of various professional athletes.
I landed both of these opportunities through connections I had prior to attending Smeal. I first heard about the opportunity at Wynn through an administrator at my undergraduate institution. He informed me that there was fellow alum working as an executive in Wynn’s Macau Operations. He put us in contact and we spoke about a possible internship opportunity for the summer. The rest as they say is history, as I was offered a position for 10 weeks here in Macau back in October.
Before coming to Smeal I worked as a basketball coach at the college level. The basketball world is very small and a close knit community, so I was able to get connected to the president of Excel’s basketball operations through a mutual friend. I drove out to New York City during a weekend break from Smeal for an interview and was offered an internship for the second half of the summer roughly 3 weeks later.
Networking while at Smeal is certainly necessary, but I also think it’s important not to neglect your current network. While I’ve taken advantages of the networking opportunities Smeal provided me, I was able to land both internships without any Smeal or Penn State connections. Again, I am not saying that Smeal connections aren’t important; I actually believe the exact opposite. I’m just of the opinion that we have networks that are much vaster than we give them credit for. It’s important to utilize every network possible, whether it is Smeal related or not.
-Nate Brodman, Penn State Smeal MBA ’14