Special for T&D
Amid a global pandemic, Claflin University continues to make strides to increase educational opportunities for its students.
The university recently launched a partnership with Planet Fitness to offer internships for students majoring in human performance and recreation and sport management. The partnership officially kicked off with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday, February 9.
Justin Josey, a senior sports management graduate, was the first Claflin student selected for the internship. He will work with Planet Fitness during the spring semester of 2022. As an intern, Josey will provide support to various departments and gain hands-on experience in facilities management, operations, sales, marketing and community outreach.
“I’m thrilled to see what we can both accomplish through this partnership,” said Kristin Bobenage, Human Resources Director of Planet Fitness. “We’ve never done this before, even in the Columbia, South Carolina market. We are participating in a program like this for the first time. Our goal is to adapt the internship to the specific needs of the student.
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For Josey, this program is a perfect opportunity to gain experience and connections before graduating in May 2022.
“This internship means a lot to me as my goal is to work with corporate partnerships and marketing once I graduate,” Josey said.
“I’m just looking forward to the experience and connecting with people. I heard there are a lot of great opportunities with Planet Fitness from their current partnerships, so I want to make a good first impression.
Clarissa Graham, Instructor and Coordinator of Clinical Experiences and Community Engagement at Claflin, has been working since September 2021 to partner with the university and Planet Fitness.
Dr. Nathan Chaplin, Assistant Professor/Coordinator of Human Performance and Recreation, and Dr. Natasha Ferguson Dennison, Associate Professor of Sports Management and Program Coordinator, also contributed to the success of the initiative.
“I think this is an opportunity for greater visibility for students in the internship program. It allows them to connect with others, be exposed to the real world, and apply what they learn in their classes in a professional setting,” Graham said. “We want this partnership to bring mutual benefits. We want to create value for Planet Fitness just as they create value for us by allowing our students to intern with them.
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As for the future of this partnership, Claflin plans to continue to recruit high caliber HPR and sports management students to Planet Fitness to gain experiences that will help them in their careers.
“We are grateful to Claflin President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack for his visionary leadership and to Dr. Anthony A. Pittman, Dean of the School of Education, for his ongoing efforts to lead partnerships within the community. . We also thank our partners at Planet Fitness for their support in creating and developing this course,” said Graham.
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