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Industry Participation Fuels Growth for Diversity Internship Program

Partners Contribute to Program Expansion
By: Lauren Houston
July 6, 2017 - 10:31am

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Twenty-eight students embarked on, what was for many, their first motorsports internship during the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star race weekend in May. This year’s NASCAR Diversity Internship Program (NDIP) class is the largest since 2004. Much of the growth and success of the 10-week, paid, summer internship program is due, in part, to the steady increase in industry participation. 

The 2017 NDIP class kicked off its internship experience with an all-inclusive, three-day orientation during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Monster Energy Showdown and Monster Energy All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The orientation experience provided an exclusive look at how partners, sponsors, teams and stakeholders play an integral role each NASCAR race weekend. 

Throughout the internship, the students contribute to the industry and gain experience working in marketing, engineering, public relations, licensing, diversity and public affairs. They also have the opportunity to learn from leading motorsports executives in weekly lunch-and-learn sessions and networking events with professionals across the industry.

Returning partners Toyota, Roush Fenway Racing, Rev Racing, Pocono Raceway and International Speedway Corporation ushered in new partners Watkins Glenn International and Richard Childress Racing. Continued support and participation from such partners solidifies the role of NDIP as a pipeline for employment across the motorsports industry. 

Felix Santana, a former Toyota engineering intern, was hired on as an automotive technology trainee and promoted to product quality engineer after his NDIP internship with the global automobile company in 2016. Another 2016 NDIP intern with Pocono Raceway, Antonio Russo, was hired on as an account executive for NASCAR Hispanic Marketing in the fall. These success stories are only two of hundreds of others that have found full-time employment upon completion of NDIP. 

2017 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program Partners and Interns: 

International Speedway Corporation, Finance: Sarah Torres

Sarah Torres is an upcoming senior at Pennsylvania State University pursuing a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting at the Smeal College of Business. Torres is the Accounting and Finance Department intern at ISC (International Speedway Corporation), a sister company to NASCAR. After the internship, Torres plans obtaining her undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State and hopes of traveling the world someday.

International Speedway Corporation, Legal: Precious Makuyana

Precious Makuyana is a Law student at Florida A&M University College of Law. She participates in numerous organizations on campus such as Marshall Bell Law Society, Christian Legal Society and the American Constitution Society. Makuyana is the legal department intern at International Speedway Corporation. After her internship, she plans on pursuing a career as a corporate lawyer with a focus on Contracts Administration and Negotiation. 

International Speedway Corporation, Partnership Marketing: Ronald Alexander

Ronald Alexander is a recent graduate from Winston-Salem State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management. Alexander is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and has had previous experience as the Sports Marketing intern for Wake Forest University. Alexander is the Partnership Sales and Marketing intern at the International Speedway Corporation. He hopes to gain a full-time role with the company and one day create his own sports management agency. 

Rev Racing, Public Relations and Marketing: Shawn Meachem

Shawn Meachem is a recent graduate of Johnson C. Smith University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management. She was a member of various organizations and honors societies on campus. Meachem gained experience in her field as an intern for her university’s athletic department. She is also a mother of twin girls. Meachem is an intern with Rev Racing and hopes to gain a full-time role in the sports industry and pursue a graduate degree soon after. 

Richard Childress Racing, Marketing: Marisa Biggins

Marisa Biggins is a Masters of Business Administration candidate at the University of Oregon. She has seven years of experience as an NCAA Compliance officer at the George Mason University, Hofstra University and Colonial Athletic Association. She is currently utilizing her skills and knowledge during her internship with partner company, Richard Childress Racing. With plans of completing her final year of her MBA program, Marisa has dreams of working at Roc Nation and eventually starting a business working with professional athletes to help them transition into a post pro-athlete career.

Roush Fenway Racing, Licensing: Greg Carty

Gregory Carty is a graduate student at Old Dominion University pursuing his Masters of Education in Sports Management. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and has served as the student manager for the Wake Forest University Football team. This is his third year participating in NDIP – he interned with NASCAR Industry Services in 2014 and with the NASCAR Licensing team in 2016. Carty is currently a Roush Fenway Racing licensing intern. Upon completing his graduate program this fall, Carty plans to pursue a full-time career with NASCAR.

Pocono Raceway, Public Relations and Marketing: Catherine Rivera Chardon

Catherine Rivera-Chardon is an upcoming senior at the Pennsylvania State University where she is working on obtaining a degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre. Catherine is involved in many on-campus organizations, such as The Daily Collegian and The Collegiate Review. She is currently utilizing her skill sets in the intern role for Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. After the internship, Catherine will continue her education and hopes to gain more experience in the communication field in hopes of one day working full-time at NASCAR. 

Toyota, Engineering: Zane Smith

Zane Smith is a Mechanical Engineering student at Southern Methodist University and is currently and intern in Toyota’s Engineering department. Smith is part of his university’s football team and has an impressive list of accomplishments including his participation in the Formula SAE Race Car Build and becoming part of the Athletics Academic Honor Role. Smith has also interned at the BNSF Railway Company as the Operational Management Intern and plans to use his engineering knowledge in a career that involves vehicles. After his internship, Smith will pursue a full-time role in NASCAR’s Engineering department. 

Toyota, Information Systems: Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is an Information Technology and Systems student at the University of Texas in Dallas. He is a member of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. and has had notable internship experiences with companies such as IBM. He is currently interning in Toyota’s Information Systems department. He plans on continuing his internship with Toyota during his final semester with hopes of gaining a full-time role. Lee’s dream job is to eventually become the CEO of a company or an entrepreneur.  

Toyota, Supply Chain and Logistics: Cambric Moye

Cambric Moye is a graduate of the University of North Caroline at Greensboro with a degree in Information Systems and Supply Chain Management. Moye has had several internship experiences including a summer internship with the Logistics department for Glen Raven, Inc. He is currently based in Kentucky where he works in the supply chain and logistics department of Toyota. After his internship, Moye hopes to pursue a career with Toyota within the Supply Chain Trainee Program in hopes of one day becoming a Supply Chain manager. 

Watkins Glenn International, Marketing: Justin Pintak 

Justin Pintak is student at Ithaca College majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications and minoring in Sports and Legal Studies. Pintak has previously interned with the Seattle Hawks and has worked with the Skyhawk Sports Academy serving various roles in the sports industry. Pintak is also a member of the Ithaca College Varsity soccer team. He is using his experience and knowledge this summer interning with partner company, Watkins Glenn International in the marketing department. After his internship, Justin is looking forward to graduating in 2018 with hopes of landing a full-time role in the sports industry.