The day before her first job interview, Amanda Caldwell was serving as a bullpen catcher for the University of Arkansas softball team last month when a pitch slipped past her and struck her in the face.Caldwell was OK, but she picked up an unwanted accessory to add to the business suit she had purchased just a day earlier: a black eye.Fortunately for Caldwell, her accomplishments and talent outweighed her noticeable bruise. She ultimately was selected for one of two paid internships with Colgate-Palmolive Co., located in Rogers, Ark. The Rogers office deals exclusively with Walmart Corp.
"I am excited to work for such a huge, well-respected company," Caldwell said. "It is such a great opportunity. I am just excited to see if I can rise to the challenges that working for such a high-powered company will provide me with."
Caldwell will be working with the marketing department within the company. She will be handling data that Walmart will give them on their products and work to develop ideas about ways to market the products better in Walmart stores. She is looking forward to the "hands-on" nature of the internship.
"It is going to be an internship where I am going to get to work hand in hand with professionals instead of doing more of the errands and seeing the administrative side of it. It is going to be hands-on training and learning," Caldwell said.
As the current president of the Arkansas Chapter of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of the softball team for the last three years, Caldwell has been extremely involved with community service and other outreaches on campus. Most recently, this year when Arkansas set a record for the best participation by a single university at a Lift Up America event with a January food drive for the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.
Caldwell said much of her experience with SAAC has helped prepare her for this internship.
"Being SAAC president has allowed me to work with other people and to learn how to communicate more effectively with my peers," Caldwell said. "That helped me in the interview. I feel more confident talking with people I don’t know, and I feel I have learned to communicate well with different people working with the student athletes, support staff and administrators of the university."
SAAC also provided Caldwell with the resume workshops and leadership conferences that helped ready her for the process of applying for internships and jobs in the future. Caldwell’s resume initially got her noticed by the Colgate-Palmolive hiring team, and with the large number of applicants for the internships, it was important Caldwell stood out from the beginning.
The Victoria, Texas, native said that being part of a team environment such as softball also helped prepare her for working at a company like Colgate-Palmolive.
"Through the experiences of having to relate to and interact with so many different people through softball – girls that have different personalities and coaches that have different personalities – you have to learn how to encourage your teammates to perform the best they can with their different personalities and qualities.
"Working with the softball team has helped me learn to motivate people with different talents, and I think that is something that can definitely transfer over to the business world and my internship with Colgate."
The junior has appeared in 13 games during her career, mostly in a pinch-hitting role. Caldwell also spends much of her time helping Razorback pitchers prepare for games as the bullpen catcher. She recorder her first career hit this season at the NFCA Lead-Off Classic in Columbus, Ga.
Caldwell, who will begin the yearlong internship in May, knows the lessons she has learned on and off the playing field will be beneficial for her during time with Colgate-Palmolive.
"Softball is completely a team sport, you do want to have personal goals and achievements," Caldwell said. "But in the long run your personal goals and achievements are for the good of the team, and that is something that Colgate-Palmolive really stresses."