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Internship Spotlight: DistinXion

This summer I had the distinct pleasure of being on the summer staff (we were not officially referred to as interns) for DistinXion, Inc. DistinXion is a company that goes around the state of Indiana and beyond teaching 2-8th graders not only the fundamentals of basketball, but also the fundamentals of life and being “Different in a Positive Way” through the acronym CHAMPIONS (Character – Honesty – Attitude – Motivation – Perseverance – I Am Responsible – Optimism – Network of Friends – Serve Others). DistinXion has two offices, one located right here in the heart of downtown Bloomington and the other in Washington, IN, the home of my bosses for the summer, the Zeller Family.

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I heard about DistinXion while on Twitter in my dorm one night Freshman year. I was scrolling through and I saw that Luke, the oldest of the Zeller brothers, tweeted that the Evansville DistinXion camp was in need of volunteers. Being from the Evansville area myself and having a love for basketball, I though it to be a good fit and sent Luke all of my information to become a volunteer. During that camp weekend in the summer of 2012, I learned just what DistinXion was about and that I was going to do whatever I could to be a part of such a close-knit, caring group.

DistinXion isn’t your ordinary basketball camp, DistinXion teaches kids how to become better people through basketball. The Zeller family name has been tied to basketball for quite some time now, especially recently with Cody and his success locally, but it is the character portion of the camps that keeps parents and kids (and myself) coming back for more. It was after camp that weekend when Steve and Luke approached me with the idea of possibly being and intern the following summer. Knowing that I needed an internship for my major, I knew it would be a match made in heaven.

My hiring process was a little different from everyone else’s because they already knew me and knew what I could do and what type of person I was based upon my work at camp the previous summer. That being said, I still had to have an interview with members of the board and had to fill out an official application that explained why I wanted to be a part of the DistinXion family and what I would be brining to the table.

My main responsibilities for this summer varied depending on the setting. Most of the time I was in different parts of the state working camps on the weekends where I was assistant Head Trainer and Head Coach (taught a station and coached a team in each age group). If I was not working at a camp during the week, I was in the office doing whatever tasks needed to be done.  My main office task this past summer was formulating new camps to assist the company in its growth. After my days in the office were over, I would also teach athletes in the Bloomington area the fundamentals of basketball for the Training portion of DistinXion.

Coaching during a DistinXion camp.

Coaching during a DistinXion camp.

Describing the best part of my experience is very, very difficult. The whole summer was filled with so many great moment and responsibilities that it’s hard to pinpoint just one to highlight. As a staff, the trip we took to North Carolina for the UNC camp was definitely the best because when you are in a car for 12 hours both ways, you can’t help but get to know everyone very well. From a camp perspective, however, the best part of being a DistinXion intern is just seeing the difference in the kids at camp from day 1 to day 3. I learned this summer that all kids just need someone to be their friend, encourage them, and say “Good job!”. Most people would be surprised at how something so small to us, can mean the world to them.

I can’t fit everything I learned this summer into one blog post, but the most important thing I learned is that, contrary to popular belief, the world is still full of amazing people with caring hearts who WANT to help others. We hear all the time that the world is falling apart and there are no good people left, but what I experienced this summer showed me the exact opposite. At DistinXion, we rely on host families every weekend to provide us with a place to stay and with food to eat. We don’t stay in hotels and eat at fancy restaurants, we sleep in church basements, on new friends’ couches and anywhere in between. It is during these stays that you realize how good people are. It is just a matter of taking the time to get to know them and genuinely working to develop those relationships.

The best advice I can share with you all is if you are looking for something that is more than just an internship, a volunteer opportunity, or a basketball camp, then DistinXion is the place for you. Not only will you get to help kids become better people through the game of basketball, you will also have the opportunity to meet and work with wonderful people every day.

As far as the future goes, I am pleased to say that next summer I will also be working with DistinXion doing camps and whatever else they need me to do. When Luke asked me if I would be interested in working with them moving forward, it was by far the easiest, “Absolutely!” I have ever given.

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Guest Blog Contributor: Devan Blair

My name is Devan Blair and I will be a Junior this upcoming year. I am majoring in Sports Marketing and Management with a minor in Coaching. I am a manager for the Men’s Basketball Team where I primarily do video work. DistinXion was my first true internship and I couldn’t have asked for a better start. My future career plans are to help out with DistinXion for as long as I can until I graduate. After graduation, I want to be a Graduate Assistant for a basketball team at a high-level D1 school. My ultimate goal is to be a D1 basketball coach. A few fun facts about myself: I am 100% a Disney freak and go every year, I enjoy long walks on the beach, and my favorite movie series is, by far, the Fast and the Furious. 

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
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•job placement
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