Bradley was the primary sponsor of Max Q Motorsports’ No. 37 Ford Fusion in the GEICO 400 this past weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. Bradley sports-communication majors were given the opportunity to join the team to assist with public relations and promotions.
“I got an email forwarded from Angela Pratt, the head of the sports communication department, about a week and a half ago about the opportunity,” said senior sports communication major Alan Fuehring. “I was one of the first to respond. They said they wanted to take 20 students, but only eight of us responded.”
Fuehring, along with senior Zach Keesee, juniors Katie Casey and Julie Piatek, sophomores Hollie Huntley and Zachary Larson and freshmen Brent Drevalas and James DeSilva, spent last weekend at the NASCAR Sprint Cup and were offered an internship with the team.
“It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience,” said Casey. “I expected to go learn about Max Q Motorsports and what they do, but I wasn’t expecting an internship.”
Casey said she is now a public relations intern with the team and has the responsibility to work on press releases and communicate with various news outlets and the NASCAR website.
“Before I hadn’t given much thought to the sport of NASCAR,” Casey said. “But after the weekend I liked it a lot more than I expected. This is definitely something I would consider a career in.”
Fuehring, who also accepted the internship, said he will be helping the team with web design and graphics and he is also working as a public relations intern.
“It’s a great opportunity,” he said. “In NASCAR they recycle people around. If I get a start with this company, do well and apply for a different position with a different team it would look good and it opens a lot of doors.”
Along with public relations and graphics, Fuehring said other interns will be managing the team’s social media and marketing accounts.
“This is another wonderful example of hands-on experiential learning opportunities available to Bradley students,” said President Joanne Glasser in a university press release. “I want to thank Max Q Motorsports and NASCAR for allowing our students to bring what they learn in the classroom onto the race track.”
Not only did a weekend at Chicagoland Speedway lead to internship opportunities, but it gave students a behind-the-scenes look at the sport of NASCAR and the inner workings of the North Carolina based NASCAR team.
“I learned that this sport more than any other sport is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle,” said Fuehring. “You work at the office or the shop all week then you go to races on the weekends. This is something I knew of, but I didn’t know until now. I just spent three days at the track and I’m exhausted. I couldn’t imagine going back tomorrow.”