My Intern Hustle: Jimmy C., Wittenberg University & Indiana University

college basketball graduate assistant coach

Talk about hustle! Reaching out to every NCAA Division 1 basketball program until you get a “yes” is pure hustle. How many times have you stopped yourself from reaching out for an opportunity because you were afraid to get a “no”? That is not the case for today’s #myinternhustle feature. Jimmy hustled for the “yes” as both an undergrad and a grad student. Keep reading to learn about his experience from athlete, to student assistant coach, to college basketball graduate assistant coach. All of it opened up the doors to his position today as the assistant coach of the Naval Academy women’s basketball team.

Name: Jimmy Colloton

Education: Wittenberg University, Major: Economics / Minor: Business, 2011 & Indiana University, Masters: Sport Management, 2013

Did you have a dream job or specific career path in mind when you started college? If yes, what was it?

Yes! I always wanted to be a college basketball coach.

What internship(s) were a part of your Intern Hustle?

I got my start as a student assistant coach at Wittenberg University in 2007. I did that for all 4 years of undergrad culminating with a NCAA Second Round tournament appearance in the 2010-11 season. During the summers, I would travel to universities in the Midwest to work basketball camps. Some schools I worked at include the University of Illinois, Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Notre Dame. Following graduation from Wittenberg, I was hired as a graduate assistant at Indiana University for their women’s basketball team.

How did you get your internship(s)?

At Wittenberg, I became a student assistant after not making the varsity basketball team (although it was heartbreaking to no longer be able to play, it was a blessing in disguise!). The head coach of the program offered me the job during the fall of my freshman year and I jumped at the opportunity.

Summer camps were a different story. I put together a resume and cover letter during the spring of my freshman year and sent it to most of the NCAA division 1 schools in the Midwest that had basketball camps.

During the spring of my senior year, I reached out to every NCAA division 1 men’s and women’s basketball program in the country to see if they had any graduate assistant openings on their staffs. After hearing a lot of “no’s,” I landed two interviews. Luckily, Indiana offered me the position on their staff and the rest is history!

Name the top three highlights from your Intern Hustle.

  1. Meeting new people who shared the same interests as me and sharing ideas about everything basketball.
  2. Real on the job experience around college basketball players and coaches.
  3. Watching the Indiana Women’s Basketball team go from 6 wins my first season to 21 wins and an appearance in the WNIT Quarterfinals by the time I left the program 3 years later.

What is one of the biggest challenges you faced during an internship and what did you learn from it?

Learning how different basketball programs, camps, coaches, etc. operated was a challenge because no two were the same in their approach. This taught me that there is more than one way to be successful as a coach and that just because someone’s view is different than mine doesn’t necessarily mean that it is wrong.

What is the most unexpected skill you gained from an internship?

The ability to sleep on buses, planes, etc. (haha!). Before working in athletics, I wasn’t able to sleep on demand, but after one season on the road with a college basketball team, I learned how important it was to get sleep anyway you could!

What internship advice do you have for college students?

Be yourself – be authentic throughout the hiring process and once you get an internship.

Always follow up – after you have an interview for the internship, send them a thank you note for the opportunity they gave you to interview. Once you get an internship, make sure you understand the responsibilities you are given. Asking a supervisor for feedback after your internship is over will help you in your future career.

Build relationships – you never know who knows someone that can help you land a job down the road.

Did your desired career path shift at all based on your internship experience(s)? If yes, in what way?


Were you offered a job as a result of your Intern Hustle? Tell us about it!

I was not directly offered a job through my internship experiences, but without them, I would not have been able to get the job I have now. The basketball coaching community is a small network so the coaches I worked with as an intern recommended me for the job I have now.

And for the final question…What’s your party trick?

Knowing the newest dances haha – the players I get to coach keep me in the loop!

(If only we had video proof…)

Do you have a #myinternhustle story to share? Or do you know someone else who does? Email me and I’ll send you the details on how you can apply to be featured.

My Intern Hustle: Jimmy C., Wittenberg University & Indiana University

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