TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona Volleyball sophomore Jaleesa Caroccio spent her summer as an intern with Nike as part of their 2022 summer program. Caroccio worked in the sports marketing department at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
Each summer, Nike extends a summer internship to two student-athletes from Arizona, and after several interviews, Caroccio was determined to be the right fit for the program. She joined Arizona softball’s Carlie Scupin in the Nike internship program. Since 2014, 18 student-athletes from Arizona have been selected for the prestigious Nike internship.
“The Nike internship is incredibly competitive and a very rigorous process for students to apply to,” associate director of CATS Student-Athlete Development Sofia Read said. “Students have to be on top of their game for all interviews. It is so exciting to have Arizona students selected for the positions and we love being able to support them in the process. Nike does a great job in their selection process with providing feedback and matching students to areas that will be challenging, yet also allowing them to excel and thrive. The whole experience is hugely impactful for each students’ current and future careers.”
Caroccio worked closely with CATS Student-Athlete Development to prepare for the rigorous interview process and land the opportunity to intern with Nike. The goal of the CATS (Commitment to an Athlete’s Total Success) program is to offer a holistic development program to student-athletes to develop skills needed for life after graduation from Arizona as part of the athletic department’s strategic plan.
“CATS Student-Athlete Development helped me prepare for the Nike internship by giving me online resources to practice my interview skills,” said Caroccio. “I also worked with staff within CATS first-hand to practice in-person mock interviews and by joining ELITE which was a program that was started this past year to help with leadership skills.”
Caroccio is currently a business management major at the Eller College of Management. In 2021, Jaleesa was named to the Pac-12 Winter Academic Honor Roll and has maintained a GPA of 3.67 for the past two years.
“I picked sports marketing for my internship at Nike because I felt that it was a perfect fit being a student-athlete,” said Caroccio. “I wanted to continue to use my athletic background while also combining the business aspect of a corporate company such as Nike. I wanted to get the experience and the feel for what it was like to be working in a corporate company and the fact that Nike pairs it’s corporation with athletics, I knew being a Sports Marketing Intern would be something that I would enjoy being a part of and learning about.”
During her time at Nike, Caroccio has worked with her fellow interns on the APLA team which focuses on athletes in Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific.
“I’ve learned so much about so many different cultures being on the APLA team, but I am also learning about many different sports, not just the mainstream sports,” said Caroccio.
In addition to working with the APLA team, Caroccio has learned valuable leadership skills that can be used during her internship as well as on the volleyball court.
“I’ve learned to be patient with tough situations and think through finding the best solution for an issue, not just the quickest solution,” Caroccio added. “Playing on a team brings different perspectives and ideas and I’ve learned at Nike to make sure to appreciate everyone’s perspective. I’ve also learned to always be there for the people on your team because someone might have more pressure than another on a team, so you should always be there to lift your teammates up and support them. I’ve also learned the importance of communication, not just communication on the court, but all-around communication with your teammates or the people that you work with on your team.”