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Frank Yeboah values experience as Accelerating Academic Success Program postgraduate intern
For Frank Yeboah, the NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program has provided many valuable opportunities to learn and develop, even after just two months on the job. As the Accelerating Academic Success Program intern, Yeboah has already experienced the program’s annual conference, built valuable relationships in and out of the national office, and witnessed the vital impact of NCAA resources on the membership.
A native of Baltimore, Yeboah earned his undergraduate degree in criminology from West Virginia in 2014 and returned to pursue his master’s in public administration from 2015 to 2017. While at West Virginia, Yeboah gained his first experience working in college sports, serving as a sports performance/student-athlete development intern in the athletics department. After completing his graduate degree, he worked as a student-athlete support services intern at Northeastern.
“The Postgraduate Internship Program was the perfect place for me to continue to learn about the industry,” Yeboah said. “There’s an abundance of knowledge and expertise at the NCAA national office, and I knew being able to work here would put me in a position to learn from some of the brightest people in the business.”
Yeboah’s yearlong internship will focus on AASP, a program through which the NCAA provides support for schools as they work to meet the Association’s academic standards. Through AASP grants, the NCAA assists Division I schools as they develop programs and systems designed to increase graduation rates and ensure academic success. This summer, the NCAA awarded over $2.1 million in grants to nine institutions.
“Education has always been important to me, and I learned early on in life that knowledge is power and access to that knowledge could potentially be life altering for some people,” Yeboah said. “AASP allows institutions to continue to nurture the academic and social development of their student-athletes. When I saw the impact the grant was having on student-athletes’ lives, I knew AASP was something I wanted to be a part of.”
In addition to receiving grants, limited-resource institutions are invited to the annual AASP Conference, where the NCAA provides a broad-based schedule of programming that benefit chancellors and presidents, athletics departments, academic advisors, registrars and development. The AASP Conference also provides the opportunity for inter-institutional discussions on academic-related issues and solutions.
With a month of national office experience under his belt, Yeboah was able to attend and represent the NCAA at this year’s AASP Conference in Orlando, Florida, gaining the opportunity to see the impact AASP has had on college athletics.
“My experience at the AASP Conference was great,” Yeboah said. “There is a lot more that goes into planning a conference than I think most people realize, so being able to be behind the scenes was eye-opening. My responsibilities included gathering presentation materials from presenters and keynote speakers, working on the conference app and being a resource for attendees.”
Particularly impactful for Yeboah was the chance to communicate with a vast array of individuals from the NCAA membership.
“My interaction with the membership was memorable,” Yeboah said. “There were several people whom I had interacted and worked with over the phone or by email that I finally got to meet in person, which was very rewarding.”
Yeboah’s fast-paced and rewarding first two months with the NCAA have already proved transformative in his professional development, reinforcing the value of membership in the NCAA postgraduate internship cohort.
“The most important thing I have learned so far would be the importance of building meaningful relationships,” Yeboah said. “There’s a lot of interdepartmental collaboration that occurs on a daily basis, so it’s important to build meaningful relationships throughout the building as well as broadly within the NCAA membership.”
Yeboah was thrown into the fire with his mid-June arrival as preparations were largely completed for the 2018 conference. However, he’s excited to assist the project team for the remainder of his internship as they begin the yearlong planning process for next year’s event.
“The Postgraduate Internship Program is meant to challenge you, but you’ll always have guidance as well,” Yeboah said. “The experiences you gain from being a part of the intern cohort are invaluable. It’s the best launch point possible for anyone who is looking to work in college athletics.”
Learn more about the NCAA Postgraduate Internship Program at Applications for the 2019–20 class will be accepted through Sept. 14, 2018.