By Margaret Chantung
You could say the Hurley International Icon Internship Program is competitive. Approximately 2,000 enthusiastic undergrads apply annually for only 37 coveted spots at Hurley’s Costa Mesa headquarters. This year 2015 CSUSM graduate Makenzie Stade landed one of them.
During the 10-week summer program, Makenzie is getting an insider’s view on how the company, a subsidiary of Nike, continually pushes the boundaries of surfing through apparel and gear.
Hurley interns work in departments across the organization based on their skills and interests. As an innovation and design intern, Makenzie is assigned to the team responsible for some of the most forward-thinking products in the surf industry.
“Right now I’m working on two projects – one within my department and a group project with five other interns,” Makenzie said.
The group project will culminate the internship experience, with student teams presenting to visiting Nike executives.
“It’s a very big deal,” she commented.
This is the first time that a Cal State San Marcos student has interned in the Icon program, and Makenzie is working alongside students who hail from MIT and other top research institutions.
Sean Newcomer, assistant professor of kinesiology at CSUSM, says that Makenzie’s academic training in kinesiology and her hands-on experience working on his ongoing study measuring the biomechanics and physiological benefits of surfing for amateur surfers gave her a solid foundation for success at the internationally-recognized surf brand.
In addition, Makenzie credits other previous internship experience for making her Hurley application strong, including a position at Saddleback Hospital in cardiac rehabilitation where she worked with patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
At the end of the summer, Makenzie, who just graduated from CSUSM with her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology, will attend Cal State Long Beach to pursue a master’s degree in exercise science.
“My time at Hurley has shown me a whole other side to exercise science,” she said. “I can definitely see a future career for myself in sports performance – everything that I’m doing here could be the basis for my thesis in grad school.
Every day I come home from Hurley and I’m stoked – it’s an amazing opportunity to be part of this team and get to apply my passion for kinesiology in new ways.”