My name is Taisei Kitahara, a senior majoring in Strategic and Corporate Communication, with a minor in Business Administration. Having played competitive sports my entire life, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the sports industry. As I was looking for internships for the spring semester, I came across Franken Enterprises, a PR company involved in sports and entertainment, and immediately knew I wanted to be a part of this company.

Franken Enterprises is a sports and entertainment public relations firm located near LAX. They are involved in activities such as organizing sporting events and film festivals, event planning, athlete representation for marketing purposes, and much more. As an international student from Japan, I didn’t know what to expect from my first job in the states. I thought going to university in another country was a whole new experience for me, but working in another country was a new category of its own.

During my internship, I was assigned to marketing activities for  developing sponsorship proposals and pitch letters. The two big events I worked for were the 2020 Summer Invitational Track meet and the Village Road Runner 5K races. For these events, I did things like research prospective sponsors for the events. I also analyzed companies and what they were trying to accomplish through their business activities, as well as what their weaknesses were. Our goal is to help strengthen the company’s weak areas and expand its opportunities by promoting these companies through our events and help serve its needs.

Through this process, I learned that companies want to sponsor events for various reasons such as branding purposes, incremental advertising, social media benefits, corporate hospitality, sample product/ service, demonstrate product/ service, retail promotions, and many others. Some of the sponsors we targeted were sponsors for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I thought I knew what kind of business activities each was involved in but by researching in-depth, I realized they are involved in more than I thought. It was really eye-opening.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, my time in the office got cut short. Even worse, the events that we worked on were postponed. It was definitely disappointing that I wasn’t able to take part in these events but I’m glad that I was able to be part of the process.

A shot in front of the office

What I liked most about interning at Franken Enterprise was the mentorship I received. I worked side by side with my boss and supervisor, so I got the necessary assistance whenever I needed, and they were there to answer any questions I had. They gave me assignments that required a lot of responsibility which allowed me to build confidence in my work. You rarely get this kind of experience in a big company so, I really enjoyed the tight-knit environment and appreciated the support they provided.

This internship was definitely a learning experience for me. Interning at Franken Enterprise gave me the confidence that I will take with me to my next stage. As for my future career, I want to be able to play an active role globally in the sports business industry by utilizing both Japanese and English. I hope I can act as a bridge between the two countries and bring them closer through sports.