Internships on Tap for RTIP Students This Summer

May 31, 2022
Giselle Lugo sits with Michael Weiss

After her summer internship at AZ Downs, RTIP student Giselle Lugo connects with Michael Weiss (AZ Downs GM) at the 2021 Breeders' Cup.

Hands-On internships are an important component of the Race Track Industry Program (RTIP) experience. In fact, internships are so important, they are required for students to graduate. These training opportunities allow students to take their classroom education and apply it to the real world.  All-important connections with industry stakeholders are also a key part of the internship experience.

“Internships align with the University of Arizona’s Pillar 1 – the Wildcat Journey” noted Robert Hartman, RTIP endowed chair.  “ACBS has also placed high value on experiential learning as part of its strategic plan and we are pleased our students can take part in these invaluable experiences.”  

Here is a snapshot of some RTIP 2022 summer internships:

Eric DeCoster – New York Racing Association (NYRA)
Department: Racing

Eric will be learning the ins-and-outs of the racing department under the tutelage of racing secretary and RTIP alumnus Keith Doleshel.  Keith and Eric connected at the 2021 Global Symposium on Racing where the internship opportunity was first discussed.

Ben Atkinson – Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Department: Racing

Ben will be stationed in racing office located in the barn area on entry days while learning the fundamentals of the taking entries and the condition book.  Ben will also work with the various racing officials – from the paddock judge and horse identifier to the stewards.

Alexa Bernal – Arizona Downs
Department: Photography

Alex will be working for Coady Photography, the official photographer of the Arizona Downs.  Alexa made the internship connection while working at Rillito Park this Spring as a camera operator.  

Hailey Shiffer – Arizona Downs
Department: Television Production

Hailey will be working with RTIP alumnus Aaron Vercruysse as part of the on-air handicapping team.  Hailey parlayed her handicapping duties at Rillito Park into this summer opportunity. The Arizona Downs broadcast will be aired at tracks nationwide.      

Mohanad Almokhadm – Gulfstream Park
Department: Racing

Mohanad will be working alongside Gulfstream Park racing secretary and RTIP alumnus, Michael Costanzo while learning the ins-and-outs of the racing department. Mohanad connected with Michael and Director of Racing Mike Harlow during the February student field trip to Florida.

Students will be providing updates on social media as the summer progresses. Follow the summer internship and all RTIP news at: