Interns at Work: Austin Eisenhofer ’15 Penske Racing, Inc., Mooresville, N.C.
“The most important takeaways I bring back are from the leadership standpoint.”
How did you learn about this internship?
During my freshman year, Penske began looking for an Athletics Intern. My father has painted IndyCars for Penske for 30+ years now, so he let me know about it.
What gave you the edge in landing this internship?
Besides my dad already being the head of the Paint Shop, my knowledge of sports training helped a lot because of the training that the pit crews must go through on a daily basis. My understanding of racing, thanks to years of watching, also gave me an edge. Finally, in such a blue collar industry, a hardworking attitude goes a long way.
Describe your daily duties.
We had pit practice on every Tuesday and Wednesday. So, most of Monday was spent setting up for the practices on Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon was spent getting ready for Wednesday morning. On days that were not filled with practice, I helped set up and organize the film system, and had the opportunity to sit in on some pit crew team decisions. During the practices I practiced as a tire carrier (the one who puts the tire on the NASCAR) on the ARCA and Truck series teams, a backup fueler for IndyCar, or I drove the electric NASCAR we had for practice.
What was your favorite part or perk of the internship?
My favorite part of the internship was the camaraderie with all of the pit crews. We had quite a few characters on the teams. My favorite perk may have been getting paid to lift in a state of the art weight room.
How did you like living in Mooresville?
I’ve lived in Mooresville since my freshman year of high school, so I’m pretty acclimated to it. It’s a booming town just north of Charlotte, so it’s a great place to be.
What key takeaways/skills will you bring back to W&L?
The most important takeaways I bring back are from the leadership standpoint. Since I am a captain of our football team here at W&L, I watched our pit coaches closely to see how they handled certain situations that may not sit well with some members of the teams. I hope to eventually climb the ranks within a sports team and sit in a management job, so I tried to soak up as much as possible.
What advice would you give to students interested in a position like this?
The advice I would give to students interested in a position like this is GO FOR IT. At W&L there seems to be a stigma that if you aren’t in a banking or office job, then you are not successful. Not many people enjoy racing as much as I do, but if you are interested in any job that may be out of norm, go for it and you might just find a job that pays what you want for doing something you really love.
Will you pursue a career in this field after graduation?
Assuming I get a job in the Charlotte area, I do plan on working on a pit crew as a tire carrier. Pit crews are filled with former college/pro athletes, so it is a good way to make some extra money on the side while continuing an athletic or competition career. I am currently looking to land a job with a professional sports team outside of racing, but there is a good possibility that I try to go back to Penske and work in the business side of racing while also working on a pit crew.
Describe your experience in a single word.