Quick thinking can make or break a game on the basketball court.

It can also help when, two weeks into a summer internship, your supervisor turns over the reins to the organization’s social media accounts and just says, “go.”

That’s what Kristina King, ’14, faced when interning with IMG Academy, a sports academy that trains novice and professional athletes through summer camps, weekend programs, and year-round sports academies. Soon after arriving, King received the assignment to manage the academy’s social media platforms during a national football championship hosted by IMG.

“You have to make decisions in a split second,” says King, who’s also on the Richmond women’s basketball team. “I’m so used to it in high-stress situations on the basketball court. And I thrive in a fast-paced environment.”

After a weekend of posting game updates to Facebook and Twitter, and capturing the action on Instagram, King says they saw a significant boost in social media interactions — especially considering the academy had just launched their presences.

King was able to hit the ground running in part because of her experience interning with the Richmond athletics marketing and public relations department, where she’s working again this semester. She drafts press releases, writes game recaps and blog posts, and films and photographs Spider games.

Her personal connections at Richmond also helped her find the IMG internship. When talking to her sports marketing professor about companies to consider, he recommended IMG. She spent a lot of time researching the company and applying for internships before discovering her coach knew the vice president of marketing for the academy division. After a series of interviews, an offer letter, and securing funding from UR Summer Fellowships to offset the unpaid internship, King’s plans for the summer were set.

“I learned that you get to where you are, not exactly because of who you know, but who knows you,” she says. “It’s connecting and building relationships with people.”

While she hopes to play for an international team after graduation, she sees an eventual return to the business side of sports — something she feels prepared for after her internship with IMG.

“When I actually get into the business world, I want to be in a place where I can combine my passion for sports with my marketing and leadership degrees,” she says. “IMG does both.”

For now, though, King’s focus is on her final season with the Spiders, which just tipped off. To prepare for the season, the team collectively read Toughness by Jay Bilas, a college basketball analyst for ESPN, and the message seems to have resonated with the competitor.

“It talks about toughness, preparation, confidence, little things that can set players apart from the competition,” she says. “When you get to this level, everyone has talent, but mental toughness  — that’s really what sets people apart.”