Caleb Kephart knew nothing about auto racing when he began his internship at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The CSULB graduate student, pursuing a Master of Arts in Kinesiology with an option in Sport Management, was excited to gain experience. Soon enough, his speed in learning was matched only by the cars zooming around the track.
“I got to do so many interesting and creative jobs not because I was asked to do them, but because I volunteered and asked,” said Kephart. “With enough hustle and enthusiasm, we can do anything we want.”
The Grand Prix provides Sport Management students with training in many facets of sport marketing, sales, and client servicing alongside some of the biggest names in racing, advertising, and branding. Networking relationships among alumni, instructors, and current students are crucial in fostering these opportunities.
In fact, Grand Prix hiring manager Richard Martinez is an alumni of the CSULB program. In his new role, Kephart assisted Grand Prix staff in hosting nearly 200,000 attendees on an average weekend. This included social media, VIP ticketing, community relations, sponsorships, and more. Kephart was impressed with the collaborative culture at the Grand Prix, from the CEO to the interns, and everyone in between.
“It’s an environment that people want to be a part of, whether they are attendees, sponsors, volunteers, or any number of stakeholders in the race,” said Kephart. “I am proud to say that I am a part of that family now.”