From Office Hours to a National Championship My Expierience Being a Warrior for a Semester

In my opinion, one thing that makes Endicott such a special place is its internship program. As an Endicott student I am required to complete two 120-hour internships during my freshman and sophomore year. This past semester I completed my second internship; a part-time, semester long, internship with the Merrimack College Athletics department working with their athletic communications team as a photography intern.

While searching for an internship I had asked Endicott's Sports Information Director, Shawn Medeiros, if he knew anyone at local schools that he thought would be interested in taking me on as an intern during the spring semester. As soon as I asked he came back with the idea of Merrimack as a potential site. He mentioned he knew a few people there and that he would be more than willing to send my name and portfolio along to them. After one quick email I was connected with Merrimack's Assistant Athletic Director -Communications, Chris Aliano.

Before I go any further, I would be remiss if I did not take the time to show my appreciation for Shawn. Not only did he help me get this internship, but as I'm writing this, he is actively helping me lock down my semester long internship and potentially my dream internship. Without him I would not even be close to where I am at today. I have learned so much from him over the two short years I have worked for him, and I could not be more grateful to have him as a mentor. So, Shawn if you're reading this, which you most likely will be to check my grammar, thank you, for everything.

Now, back to the story at hand. Not long after emailing Chris, I was heading to Merrimack's campus in North Andover for what I thought was going to be an interview. To my surprise it was more of just figuring out my schedule and how we could make this work. Because I was not only trying to complete my internship requirements but I also had 5 classes and other commitments to balance. Thankfully, Chris was more than understanding and we figured out how to make this internship work in a way that benefited the both of us and worked with my hectic schedule. We worked out that I would come in for office hours once a week and also shoot at least one game every week.

The First Game

The first game I was able to make it to was a Men's basketball game. It was probably one of the best games to start off with. They were playing SNHU and it was an intense game right from the tip-off. And since there is not much room between the baseline and the wall (where I have to sit to take photos), I was almost trampled multiple times throughout the game. However, I survived, and even came out of the game with multiple portfolio worthy shots. It was a great way to kick off my internship and I could not wait to get back to shoot more games.

Week by week

Now, obviously every game was not as exciting as the first, and some games i nearly froze during what New England likes to consider to be spring. However, I loved every opportunity to shoot all the different teams. In addition to shooting games, every Tuesday I would go in for my office hours. During this time, I would edit and label my photos that I had taken that pervious weekend in addition to organizing and labeling photos they had from other games. It was here that I worked closely with Mike Sullivan (Associate Director of Athletic Communications) and Jaimen Romano (Athletic Communications Assistant). Chris, Mike and Jaimen were all so welcoming and made me feel comfortable in the office from day one. They were always more than helpful with any questions I had, but they also let me do my own thing which was awesome to have that level of trust from the start. It was truly a pleasure to work alongside them and get to know them throughout the semester.

During my time at Merrimack, I shot everything from basketball, to softball to lacrosse and even some tennis in between below is some of my best photos from the semester (minus men's lacrosse, they get their own section)!

A Championship Season

The best part of my internship by far was following Merrimack's men's lacrosse team on their run to the D2 national championship. Watching the men's lacrosse team was such a blast. They had such good team chemistry and some of the plays they made were unbelievable and left me speechless. Whether it was Charlie Bertrand firing a shot in from far out, or Sean Black making a behind the back assist. Watching this team play together was something truly special. They dominated almost every team they played. And they continued that domination all the way through the playoffs and to become National Champions. I made this photo essay documenting their season.

Final Score: 23-6 Merrimack.

Getting to follow this team to the national championship was extra special for me because it was the first time I got to shoot at Gillette Stadium which is something that I have been trying to do since high school. Because of this internship I was able to live out that dream and I enjoyed every second of it.

I look rough, but the happiness is real in that photo.

Thank you.

This internship was way more than I had ever expected it to be. So, with that being said I would like to end this post by saying thank you to Chris, Mike and Jaimen for allowing me to be a part of their team this semester. My only regret was that I was not able to spend more time there during the semester. I will never forget my time at Merrimack and I will forever be grateful for it.

Till next time.

- Nick Grace

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Nick Grace

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