Macall Marstall

Many incredible people have passed through the VACorps internship program since we first hosted interns in 2006. “Oh the places you’ll go” is a series where our alumni share updates about their careers and life accomplishments. In this latest post, Macall Marstall (’11) writes to us from Corvallis, Oregon, where she is 5 years into a successful career as a Marketing Coordinator at the Oregon State University Athletics Department. Macall participated in a marketing internship in 2011 and was never without a smile on her face during her 3 months in South Africa! You can view her complete bio on LinkedIn.

Please give us a summary of your career to date. What have been doing and where do you see yourself heading?

Exactly one month after I returned from Cape Town I was offered a position with my Alma Mater Oregon State University. I was hired in the athletic department’s marketing office. I’m now closing in on my 5th year with the department and have learned so much. My day to day responsibilities include the preparation and executing of all fan experience elements of our sporting events. The main sports I oversee are volleyball, women’s basketball and baseball. I’m responsible for creating and executing comprehensive marketing plans for all my sports, while assisting with other sports. The sports industry is very fast paced and constantly changing. I enjoy the challenge of having to keep up on trends, entertainment, etc. It’s also very rewarding to work in college sports, as the number one focus is education and not just entertainment. I enjoy working with student-athletes, coaches and administrators to make Oregon State Athletics great. 

What were the highlights of your internship experience in Cape Town?

There are so many highlights from my trip to Cape Town. One of my favourite memories was when a group of us visited Stellenbosch for the Stellenbosch wine festival. Stellenbosch was a true treasure of South Africa. I also found it very interesting to learn about some French culture while living in South Africa. I also enjoyed every beautiful hike I went on, but especially enjoyed the moonlight hike we did as a group to Lions Head. That scene will be painted in my head forever. Along with all the great experiences, I also cherish the friendships I made. I’m still very close with a friend I made while there and we love telling people that even though we are both from the US, we met in South Africa. I also became very close with a person I met at work. She was my secondary mentor and I got to spend time with their family and friends. I still keep in touch with them as well.

Can you share an example of how your internship experience aided your career? 

I think having international experience is always valuable in your career. I was fortunate enough to travel a lot as kid and young adult. This trip however, was my first time doing it alone. The internship itself was very good experience, but the overall trip taught me a lot of about myself and helped shape my early 20’s. I think one of the most interesting things I learned from my internship was how South African culture views American culture. Being constantly exposed to American culture makes it hard to step back and analyse things. In South Africa, I was able to see American culture and advertising from a different view point. That “lens” I learned to use is still valuable to me today. 

What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to future VAC interns and/or those considering participation in the program?

My advice to future VAC interns is to create relationships. Weather that be your fellow housemates, people at work or people you just meet randomly. Don’t’ be afraid to befriend someone different than yourself. Surrounding yourself with new people is an unique way to learn. I also believe that experiences new things is always great, but those experiences can always be made even better when you get to share them with others. 

Any predictions for what we can expect from you in 10 year’s time? 

I’m not sure where the future will take me, but I’m excited about it. I do plan to return to Cape Town one day. Of all the wonderful places I’ve been Cape Town is still one of my favorites. It is a truly beautiful city in a truly fascinating country.