In His Own Words: Cale Padgett's Internship with the University of Miami

March 1, 2016 | By Cale Padgett, 2L

Last summer I had the opportunity to intern with one of the nation’s premier athletic institutions, the University of Miami. Naturally, because I want to work in collegiate athletics and am choosing a much different path from most of those in law school, it was a bit of a process to find a summer internship. But thanks to help from the Office of Career Development, I was able to speak with some people that worked in the industry and solidify this was the path I wanted to take.

A chance to work in the athletic compliance department at the University of Miami was the first job offer I received for the summer, and I pounced on the opportunity. I was excited because I have always wanted to live in Miami and to be given this opportunity was something I had only imagined in my dreams. It was a great chance for me to represent the University of Oklahoma College of Law and myself in the Miami area. After accepting the job, I applied for a fellowship and was very excited to receive the David and Molly Boren Fellowship. Since my internship was unpaid this fellowship made it possible for me to pursue my goals 

My job was very hands-on from the start. There was no going to get coffee and just sitting at a desk; I got right into the thick of things immediately. I worked under four different officers each with a different focus – Recruiting/Monitoring, Rules Education, Financial Aid, and Eligibility. The variety in my work exposed me to a range of tasks including conducting preliminary audits of official prospective student-athlete visits, team travel expenses, and meals; monitoring the sale of student-athlete autographs; organizing annual NCAA coaches recruiting exams; conducting research on NCAA rules interpretations and violations; assisting in scholarship renewal and housing assignments; and tracking student-athlete eligibility.

My internship experience was invaluable. I learned so much about the world of compliance and Division 1 college athletics, while making lifelong friends and growing my personal network. I also learned an entire new culture enjoying the summer months in hot humid Miami. It took me a few weeks to get over my culture shock, but I truly enjoyed every minute of my time there. 

This experience definitely helped me grow as a person and a professional and I am very thankful for the OU Fellowship Program because otherwise I would have never had the opportunity to pursue my internship.

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