Ben Manske enjoys all facets of his ongoing internship at world-famous Road America, but race weekends are when his adrenaline flows fastest.
“There’s so much energy out here,” he says. “I really enjoy the controlled chaos.”
Ben, a Neenah, Wis., native who graduated from Lakeland this past May with a degree in business management and a minor in sports management, has been a hit at picturesque RA in Elkhart Lake.
“Ben has worked out just great,” says Mary Lou Haen, RA’s marketing & promotions director. “This is the first time we’ve had an intern, and he’s been outstanding. He’s very versatile, which is good because we’ve introduced him to many opportunities in different areas. He’s done work in customer service, marketing, sponsor relations and even hands-on events like helping with ticket sales and autograph sessions.”
“He was thrown into the fire immediately, and he responded. I’d certainly like to make sure we get another intern from Lakeland next year.”
Ben’s post-graduate internship began in May and he will likely work into September, when the track’s busy summer season winds down. After that, he’ll focus on launching a career in sales or marketing.
The relationship between Ben and Road America began when Haen spoke at Lakeland’s Sport Marketing and Promotions class last winter. After the class, Ben spoke with Haen and followed up via email until he was offered the internship.
“Basically, I kept bugging her,” jokes Ben, whose tenacity as a defensive back on the football field culminated in second-team all-conference honors after his senior season.
As he heads into the rest of his life, Ben looks back fondly on his Lakeland College experience.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” he says. “I got a chance to meet so many different people from many different states and backgrounds, and I made good friends with students and professors. It was really great.”