What’s It Like to Intern with the NBA? This Northwood Senior Shares His Story

Northwood senior Tyler Makins spent his summer interning while surrounded by some of the most important people in the NBA. Here, he shares a little bit about himself, his experience, and what it was like to work with big names while keeping a cool head.

Tyler Makins during is NBA Summer League internship.

Tyler Makins (second from right) during is NBA Summer League internship.

What is your major?

I dual major in Marketing and Sports Management, graduating this spring.

What student organizations are you involved with on campus?

I’ve been a member of both the Sports Management Association at Northwood and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Chapter here since my sophomore year, taking an active role in each organization.

How did you get involved with this opportunity?

I got involved with the NBA Summer League through our former Sports Management Department Chair at Northwood, Dr. Preston James IV. In the spring of 2015, he told me about an opportunity to attend a conference at the Summer League that year called the Sports Business Classroom (SBC). The SBC featured speakers who were already professionals in the NBA (head coaches, scouts, general managers, ESPN personalities, broadcasters, etc.) that taught sessions that related to their field. Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle came and spoke to us about coaching, Portland Trailblazers General Manager Neil Olshey came and spoke about player evaluation and working your way from the bottom of the industry to the top. It was just super interesting to get an inside look at the NBA, something I had been dreaming of for years. At the end of the conference, the staff leaders chose 5 people (there was around 50 attendees total) to return the next summer to serve as interns for the actual Summer League. I was lucky enough to be one of those 5 selected, so I was able to come back this past summer in a bigger role.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

During the two years that I’ve spent with the NBA Summer League, I’ve learned so much, it’s hard to narrow it down to a few things. If I had to, I’d say that being a star in your role is very important. My goal was to get to know everyone who I was interning with, and to volunteer for any and every job or task that needed to get done. It’s so important to stick out, and being friendly and working hard and efficiently at least gets you on the way. It’s also important to ask questions and learn. Don’t be afraid to fail, but you have to learn from the failures and improve yourself and those around you.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

Using this experience down the road in my career, I think the biggest thing that will help me is learning how to communicate with and be around big NBA names. The Summer League has grown so much since its inception. They had 23 NBA teams plus the NBA D-League send teams to Las Vegas (where the Summer League takes place) to compete this past year. Each team also sends coaches, scouts, and other personnel to watch the games and evaluate talent. The Summer League is essentially a big NBA tryout for the players, coaches, and referees there, who are trying to show that they can perform at an NBA level. So you see head coaches, general managers, and everyone else you could think of. I even had the opportunity to meet the Commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver. The point is that there is a lot of big personnel there, so it’s important to keep a cool head and remember that they’re people too and they probably either want to be left alone or to talk basketball, so you have to walk a fine line. My strategy was to get to know media members, because they’re more open to communication and may be a little easier to approach – they still have the contacts though, so they’re good people to become friendly with. When they say it’s who you know, not necessarily what you know, I can’t endorse that enough.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?

It’s important to do these things while you’re still in school because it’s just that much more extra preparation for when you get out into the real world. My experience as an intern at the Summer League will mostly likely mirror whatever it is I’ll be doing in my first job with player/team operations, so now I know what will be expected of me and the level that it’s necessary to work at in order to be successful. It also doesn’t hurt to have a name like “NBA Summer League” on my resume. It’s just crucial to gain as much experience as possible, that’s always been my philosophy.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

It’s really hard to narrow down the list of highlights during this time for me. Obviously just getting to know the other interns was great. There was around 75 employees, with at least half being new to the staff this season like myself, and they came from all over the world, so it was just really interesting hearing everyone’s back story and the things they’ve done. A lot of them had experience working with teams and in the league already or were related to someone working in the league, so it was cool to hear some of the stories they had. I also just really enjoyed being in an environment that centered around the NBA for two straight weeks. Okay sure, being in Las Vegas for that time was fun, but if that time didn’t center around 12-16 hours of basketball everyday, I don’t think I’d have had as much fun. It was also an extreme honor to be selected as the “Rookie of the Year” intern at our wrap-up banquet. Like I said, working out there was a dream come true, so to be selected to receive that award was really something special and it only further cemented the fact that I knew this is where I wanted to be and what I wanted to spend my life doing.

Anything else we should know about this experience?

Just to give everything some context, I’ll explain what the Summer League is and what our role as interns was. The Summer League is essentially a tournament between the rosters of prospective players that NBA teams have organized. Their team would consist of the 12-15 players that stand the best chance of filling out their actual regular season roster. So it’s really a big tryout for the players to show what they can do against near-NBA level opponents. That’s why you see scouts and coaches from the NBA, the D-League, and teams that are overseas. The teams play a round robin style and then there is a bracketed tournament, seeded based on the teams performance in round robin, leading to the crowing of the Summer League champion in the last game. As a game operations intern, we were responsible for running stats to team officials, delivering game film to teams and referees, setting up and monitoring all of our fan interaction games around the arena, and handling basically anything and everything operations-wise or fulfilling the needs of the team and ensuring a first-class experience for everyone in attendance. It was crazy to work so closely with NBA personnel, but it was an opportunity that I’m grateful for and will never forget.


Meet TLC Tutor, Sarah!

Name: Sarah Alspaugh

How long have you been a TLC Tutor: First year

Major: Accounting Major in the Accelerated BBA/MBA program

Home town: Hastings, Michigan

Year in School: Senior

Dream Job: My dream job is either to be an audit partner in a CPA firm or work for the FBI as a Forensic Accountant.

TLC: Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?

You: In addition to being a tutor, I am also heavily involved with campus life. I am the CFO for the 2017 Northwood University International Auto Show. Also, I am the secretary for the Honorary Accounting Society of NU (HASNU) and participate in Business Professionals of America and Student United Way.

TLC: Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?

You: Being a tutor has been unequivocally beneficial to me! By helping other to understand concepts, I have been given the opportunity to not only refresh my understanding of the concepts, but also cement my knowledge.

TLC: Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?

You: I would definitely recommend working at the TLC! We have flexible hours, and it’s great to know you are making a positive impact on the education of your peers!

TLC: Sarah hit the ground running in her first semester at the TLC. She won the prize for most students tutored during our drop in hours this past fall! Fortunately for us, she plans to continue to tutor at the TLC while pursuing her MBA.


ESPM Student Shares His Experience Witnessing Baseball History (While Adding to His Resume)

World Series

Northwood senior Lance Copley had the incredible opportunity this fall to work at Progressive Field during the 2016 World Series. Here, Lance shares a little bit about his experience!

What is your major?

I am a senior majoring in Entertainment, Sport & Promotion Management, or ESPM.
Lance at the World Series
What student organizations are you involved with on campus?

I am involved with ESPMA which is our major’s organization. I also have been a member of the JV Basketball team over the last two years, which plays a major role in being a team player on and off the court.

How did you get involved with this opportunity?

I got involved with the opportunity to work at the 2016 World Series in Cleveland through Delaware North Companies (DNC). DNC runs the concessions (Sportservice) at Comerica Park where the Detroit Tigers play. I have been there three seasons in total, interned 2 summers ago.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

An important thing I learned through this experience was that all places are different – Comerica Park is way different then Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians Stadium), for instance. Knowing that all places are different can help you make the right decision based on what location you are in. For example, when you cannot reach the warehouse for more product you simply must make a quick decision to go and transfer product from another stand or location.
World Series
How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

I gained a lot of experience by being able to work at a different ball park. This will help show future employers that I am willing to travel for the job and take on new opportunities when they arise.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?

Having experiences like this while in school is a big deal because honestly the time you are in college is so short. If you do not take advantage of these opportunities, you may miss out on meeting that one person or making a difference with one company for the better. This allows you to build your network and establish your own name.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

The highlight of working behind home plate during games 6 and 7 of the World Series was that I was able to witness history. The Chicago Cubs had not won a title since 1908, the curse was broken, and it was incredible witnessing that type of atmosphere first-hand. Working games 6 and 7 of the World Series was an unbelievable experience – I had a great view of the game while getting the hands-on practice needed to help enhance my resume.


Northwood BPA Students Qualify for Nationals

Last week, Northwood had 44 students compete at the Business Professionals of America (BPA) state completion in Grand Rapids. Eighteen NU students placed in the top 3 at the state competition and qualified to compete at Nationals.   The following are students who qualified to attend the national competition being held in Florida in May 2017.  Northwood competed against the following schools: CMU, EMU, Davenport, Baker College, Bay College, and Montcalm CC. Congratulations to all!

Northwood Students at BPA Competition1st Place Winners
Kennedy Shea – Advanced Interview Skills
Kristy Godley – Banking and Finance
Jordan McCallister – College Payroll Accounting
Katie Keith – Fundamental Desktop Publishing
Holly Rachel – Graphic Design Promotion
Kennedy Shea  – Intermediate Word Processing
Scott Loughlin – Managerial Accounting
Matt Schnurr – Presentation Management Individual
Morgan Stoewsand‐Kryscio, Renee Thompson, Scott Loughlin and Matt Schnurr – Small Business Management Team

2nd Place Winners
Kristy Godley – College Payroll Accounting
Kennedy Shea – Ethics and Professionalism
Morgan Stoewsand-Kryscio – Fundamental Desktop Publishing
Taylor Bovee – Fundamental Spreadsheet Applications
Paige Podskalny – Graphic Design Promotion
Hannah Ex – Medical Office Procedures
Renee Thompson – Personal Financial Management

3rd Place Winners
Renee Thompson – Advanced College Accounting
Taylor Bovee – Advanced Word Processing
Brianne Suggs – Basic Office Systems & Procedures
Kristy Godley – Federal Income Tax Accounting
Gabriella McKee-Lewis – Fundamental Desktop Publishing
Natisha Phophayly – Graphic Design Promotion
Jacob Taylor – Legal Office Procedures
Sara Brown – Medical Office Procedures


February is Financial Aid Awareness Month

FAFSA Website ScreenshotHave you completed your FAFSA?

If not, visit

  • State deadlines are right around the corner. Some state deadlines for grant and scholarship aid have already passed and others are quickly approaching.  Some states award aid on a first-come, first-served basis. All state deadlines are listed at
  • Families must use 2015 tax information. This should help simplify the application process, as families will no longer need to estimate their taxes for the FAFSA, or put off completing the form until they file their 2016 taxes. By using 2015 tax returns, more families will be able to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which can help save valuable time by importing tax information directly into the FAFSA.
  • Award letters may be issued earlier. Some colleges have already begun sending financial aid award letters to students who have completed the FAFSA. Award letters provide important information, including the school’s estimated Cost of Attendance and the financial aid package — including scholarships, grants, and loans — offered to the student.

If you have questions about the financial aid process, please call the Northwood University Financial Aid Office at 989-837-4230 or email us at


Meet TLC Tutor Daniella

Picture of DaniellaName: Daniella Gama-Diaz

How long have you been a TLC tutor?: First year

Major: Advertising & Marketing

Minor: Management

Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan


Year in School: Second year BBA/MBA student

Dream Job: Creative Director for an advertising firm in a big city like New York!

Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus? Yes, I am in the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and the Honors Program. I wish I could be more involved, but my schedule is very busy!

Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you? Yes! It gives me a chance to meet new people, and do math which I love! It also has allowed me to practice my interpersonal skills, and I love having a job on campus.

Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends? Absolutely! It’s a very flexible job, good schedule, and you get to practice skills you haven’t used in a while.


Daniella has been a wonderful addition to our TLC Tutor Staff! She does a fabulous job at running both our Math 980 and Econ 2210 study groups, in addition to the numerous students she works with during our drop in hours and on her own time. Daniella carries a 3.98 GPA and is certainly another very smart reason to come to the TLC!


Aftermarket Major Austin Shares Experiences from Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week

Austin JeremiasLast month, 25 Northwood University Aftermarket students had the opportunity to travel to Las Vegas to participate in Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week. One of those students, Austin Jeremias, shared what his experience was like!

What is your major?

Automotive Aftermarket Management

What student organizations are you involved with on campus?

The Aftermarket Club

How did you get involved with this opportunity?

I got involved through the Aftermarket program itself. In our classes were introduced to the opportunity during spring semester of my sophomore year. After applying to go to HDAW each person had to go through an interviewing process as well.

What were some of the most important things you learned during this experience?

One of the most important things I learned while attending both this past year and the year before, was that there are many opportunities available within the Heavy Duty Aftermarket industry that I hadn’t been exposed to before attending. I also learned about many of the important trends that are influencing the Heavy Duty industry today.

How will you apply this experience to your future education and career?

I will apply this experience to my future career in that I plan to go into some area the Heavy Duty Industry after graduation. Before attending HDAW both at the beginning of this year as well as last, I felt I was confined to only the traditional channels of the aftermarket, however, through attending HDAW, many other options have become apparent within the Heavy Duty industry.

Why do you think it is important for students to have these types of experiences while they are in school?

I think it is very important for students to attend these sorts of events because they not only allow students to get exposure to different facets of the industries and network with many potential employers, but it also allows students the opportunity to work directly with different companies throughout the industry.

What was the highlight of the experience for you?

The highlight of my experience at HDAW was being able to work with my sponsor company during the show, which was Dorman Products. I have worked with Dorman in the past both as an intern the past two summers as well as at such events as AAPEX/SEMA and HDAW in the past. I also very much enjoyed sitting in on the industry educational sessions throughout the week which helped me gain more insight into many of the trends that are influencing the Heavy Duty aftermarket industry as a whole today.

Anything else we should know about this experience?

HDAW is such a great experience for all of the students that attend, and everyone at the show wants each intern to experience the immense amount of camaraderie throughout the industry, and show their support for the many Northwood Students attending.



Spring 2017 Tour Guides Needed

Northwood Students

Job Title: 

Tour Student Ambassador

Job Description:

  1. Responsible for giving campus tours to prospective students and their families during campus visits i.e. Faculty Visits, Classroom Visits, Athletic Visits, Financial Aid Appointments, Academic Advising Appointments, and/or Lunch.
  2. Responsible for escorting the prospective student and their guests to set appointments while also giving a guided tour describing campus and student life along the way.
  3. Assist with student panels and/or group campus tours during Bus Trips, Open Houses and other Admissions events as assigned.


  • Have an outgoing personality
  • Be able to hold a conversation with integrity.
  • Have good academic standing must act in a professional manner.
  • Be reliable and timely to show-up to all assigned campus tours and/or events.

How to Apply:
Visit the Admissions Office located in the Herbert D. Doan Center, Welcome Center – Office of Admissions located near the Main Street entrance to campus and speak with Katie Bischel or request an application to be sent electronically at

If your application is selected, you will be contacted to schedule an interview. The position will not begin until the Spring 2017 semester.

Sounds like too much responsibility? Well, fret not!
This is an as-available position; thus, you sign-up for what you are available for.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the dynamic admissions team today!


Meet Your Timberwolf Learning Center Tutor, Marlon!

Marlon Hairston in football uniformName: Marlon Hairston

TLC tutor: 4 years

Major: MBA Management

Home town: Southfield, Michigan

Year in School: First year graduate student

Dream Job: Nascar Driver or Pro Rubik’s Cuber

Other than a student, and a tutor, are you involved in anything else on campus?

I am a proud member of the NU Football team!

Do you feel your experience as a tutor has been beneficial to you?

I believe it has!  Helping people learn has been so fulfilling.  The look someone gives when they finally understand something they’ve struggled with is amazing.

Would you recommend working at the TLC to your friends?

Of course! The TLC has flexible hours and great pay!

“Marlon is a first class young man, an outstanding citizen, man, and person.  He is very team oriented.  I see him as more of a serving leader… always willing to help others.”
-Head Football Coach Leonard Haynes

In addition to excelling on the football field, he is also a standout in the classroom.  Marlon received GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Honors in 2014 and 2015.  He wears number 89 on the gridiron, but he is number one in the TLC!

Follow Team Strosacker on Twitter with the hashtag #strosacker!


A Taste of Culture Fall 2016

Taste of Culture PlatesThe A Taste of Culture dinners has finally come to an end this Fall. This semester was the first time A Taste of Culture was introduced and we have successfully brought in the local taste from countries like China, Malaysia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

These food has opened our horizons to the different cultural practices and styles by other countries.  Students and faculties sent in recipes from their home countries and the adventurous Sodexo team prepared the food. While the process of preparation was tough, the team managed to whip up a wonderful meal. Indeed, it was a great time for the domestic students to learn about the cultures of other countries by filling up their stomach; it was also a time for the international students to reunite with a little taste of home.

Here at Northwood where cultural diversity is strongly valued, we love when different ideas come together and create many great ideas. Together, let us create a community through our food. After all, food is the tool which helps us express and connect with others. If you are an international student who would love to spread your culture and its food, do email your recipes to 

Missing your grandma’s food? Send us the recipe and we will try whipping it up.

A Taste of Culture will resume in the Spring Semester on the third Wednesday of every month. Don’t forget to join A Taste of Culture next semester and learn more about the different cultures and values.