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Abe Bakare

Abe Bakare talks about his IRUC experience and internship change

Students in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois have had to adjust their internships because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Periodically, we will speak with them about how those changes have affected their summer plans and potentially career paths. Abe Bakare was supposed to work at UCLA in its recreation department, but instead was part of the inaugural Illini RST Undergraduate Consulting (IRUC) program, created by RST department head Carla Santos and clinical assistant professor Mike Raycraft. He talked to AHS communications about his experience working for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder and The Specialized Marketing Group.

Initially, I was in the process of acquiring an internship with the UCLA Recreation Department. The position would have been with staff development. I would have assisted with summer staff interviews, hiring, training, and overall supervision. Due to COVID-19, the UCLA recreation center management cut the application process short.

Instead I was able to work for the IRUC program, created by various staff of the Illinois RST Department. I have been able to work with many important people and organizations in the sports industry. A few of those are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Specialized Marketing Group. During my time I have come up with ways for organizations to re-market themselves post-COVID-19.

This experience was fun and I will be able to take a lot with me in my future during my academic and professional career at the University of Southern California.

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