UNC Greensboro sophomore Carlena Neely is one of 34 students from across the nation to participate in the 2018 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program.
The 10-week, paid summer internship offers students from diverse backgrounds a unique, hands-on experience in the motorsports industry, working with NASCAR and its partners.
Neely, an information systems and supply chain management major in the Bryan School of Business and Economics and Lloyd International Honors College student, is currently working at Toyota’s North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. As part of the marketing analytics team, she uses business intelligence tools to analyze data, and then uses those insights to help develop new marketing strategies and reach new customers.
“It’s been an adventure every day,” Neely said. “The biggest challenge is the learning curve with the new technology. It can be difficult at times, coming into a big corporation and trying to keep up with the experts on my team, but I’m learning as much as I can so that I can make a difference when I return to campus this fall.”
Neely has a passion for technology and entrepreneurship, which is why she ended up at UNCG. The information systems concentration – a program that teaches computer programming, systems development, network management and website development, among other technical skills – is the perfect blend of her professional interests.
Now Neely has the opportunity to put those passions to use, as well as broaden her technical skills and network with other professionals in the field.
But it’s not just about professional growth – the internship has helped her mature as a young adult.
“This is a whole new experience of being on my own. I’ve had to get a car, manage my finances, secure temporary housing – it’s given me perspective of what life will be like after college,” she said. “I’m learning about myself every day.”
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography provided by Carlena Neely