Martin interned with 36 other undergraduate and graduate students in the highly-competitive 10-week program, which selects a diverse group of young professionals to gain valuable career experience alongside industry veterans — all while working in the fast-paced arena of professional stock car racing.
As part of the company’s consumer strategy team, Martin’s day-to-day consistently challenged the recent grad with new experiences. Her responsibilities ranged from extensive media research to compiling and shipping gifts to broadcast partners.
Participants in the program also prepared a comprehensive business plan for a case study competition judged by NASCAR executives.
A former lacrosse player at Oglethorpe, Martin considers herself a lover of sports, though by her own admission, she had never before seen a NASCAR race. When she learned of the opportunity to apply for this year’s cohort, she leaped at the opportunity to try something new.
“I always knew I wanted to work in sports, and the opportunities I have been given here to network have been amazing,” says Martin, “I would have never imagined I would be able to shadow production crews at a NASCAR race, but those are some of the amazing opportunities I have been given here.”
Outside of work responsibilities, participants were treated to an extensive behind-the-scenes look at the motorsports giant. Martin and her colleagues visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Hendrick Motorsports, the Motor Racing Network facilities and, of course, attended NASCAR races — a first for many of the participants.
This year marked the 22nd year of NASCAR’s highly-competitive diversity program. Since 2000, it has introduced more than 500 students to the NASCAR industry and is the longest-running diversity initiative in competitive motor sports. The program also collaborates with industry partners to help students expand their professional network and interface with employers. This year, partners included Rev Racing, World Wide Express, 23XI Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Sonoma Raceway, Team Penske, Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.
“I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from this experience and connections that would last me a lifetime,” says Martin.
“If someone asked me if I would do it all again, I would say yes 100 times!”