Jordan Chavez, ’16, is not someone to back away from a challenge. A Texas native who was recruited to the University of Richmond’s cross country team and is pursuing a double major in leadership studies and business administration, Chavez has an intimidating workload. This dedication to hard work and athletics are the qualities that make Chavez a natural fit for an internship at Nancy Lieberman Charities.

Chavez became interested in Nancy Lieberman Charities after hearing Lieberman’s “Winning Edge is You” presentation as part of the Student-Athlete Leadership Lecture series. A two-time Olympian, three-time All-American, two-time collegiate national champion and two-time National Player of the Year at Old Dominion, Lieberman shares Chavez’s passion for athletics and high standard for success.

“Working with Nancy has been huge for my personal growth. She is a great leader and mentor to me, and she really expects me to be on my game all the time and in every situation,” Chavez commented. “Working with Nancy is never easy with respect to the workload and expectations, but she makes the challenges fun, mostly through humor.”

Chavez’s internship with Lieberman challenged him to aim even higher this summer. He described the demands of the position: “Sometimes it’s hard to believe some of the access that she gives us, but at the same time, she expects the highest level of professionalism because we all represent her brand.”

No one day at his internship was the same for Chavez. He juggled responsibilities that ranged from handling all social media accounts for Lieberman and the Charities to confirming basketball camp logistics to assisting Lieberman with appointments, correspondence, and contract negotiations.

 “One day I will be going from business to business doing grassroots marketing for our basketball camps, and the next, I’ll be emailing some of the biggest name athletes and celebrities in the world about building a DreamCourt with our Charities,” Chavez said.

For all assignments, Lieberman expected Chavez to take ownership of his work. To succeed in his internship, Chavez relied upon the communications skills and problem solving abilities he developed through his education.

 “Even from the first day, I could identify an edge I had over my coworkers. Since I am working in such a small organization—there are only three full-time employees who work remotely—where three other interns and I are essentially working directly with Nancy, it’s impossible to hide,” Chavez explained. “Classes that have had the biggest impact on me were humanities classes with Professor Kaufman freshman year and theories with Professor Goethals this past semester.”

Chavez does not know yet what his future holds. His vigorous pursuit of excellence in both his coursework and his sport has given him options to seek a career in either professional running or business. Working at Nancy Lieberman Charities helped Chavez to develop adaptability and reminded him that often the question is more important than the answer.

 Chavez concluded, “One of the most important things I have learned thus far is to ask—ask questions, ask for confirmation, ask for other projects to work on, and ask about elements of work that I don’t understand. The good thing about being an intern is that I’m not expected to know everything.”