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For any sports fan, it would be a dream to meet professional football players or to score free tickets to an NFL game.

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student Anthony Goebel got to do all of that on a regular basis while he was a marketing intern for the Green Bay Packers.

Goebel, a senior marketing major, said the decision to accept the internship wasn’t the easiest decision because he had to take the spring 2008 semester off.

“I was pretty much on my own,” said Goebel, a Fond du Lac native. “I had to make sure my student loans didn’t go into repayment and find a place to live for only three months.”

But Goebel made it work, rooming with a cousin in Green Bay and picking up one academic credit through the College of Business to stay enrolled in school.

His resourcefulness and hard work paid off when he won the 2009 Outstanding Intern of the Year award from the Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA).

Goebel won the award based on his strong academics, community involvement and excellent work at the Green Bay Packers internship.

“When I read the letter and saw that I won, I was shocked,” Goebel said.

Goebel also was impressed and surprised with the scope of responsibilities he was given as an intern and how he was treated as a member of the Packers marketing department.

Because the internship started in the off season, Goebel participated in behind-the-scenes activities like strategic planning, corporate sales and market research.

Once training camp arrived, Goebel started working nearly 70 hours a week.

“I realized that once you get on the job, you really have to go the extra mile,” he said.

After the internship period ended, Goebel offered to continue as a volunteer and worked throughout the season managing game-day promotions at ticket gates, handling media relations and delivering thank-you cards to players.

As a member of CEIA, Jessie Pondell, internship director for the College of Business, could nominate only one student for the prestigious national award.

“Tony jumped out immediately because he’s strong in all those areas and has set himself apart as a student,” Pondell said. “I wanted to nominate someone who could win the award, and I knew he would be competitive.”

Goebel completed two internships before he was offered the Packers position and has impressive community involvement, including forming a non-profit community organization, Fish for Kids, at age 17.

Goebel’s original idea was to provide children with free tackle boxes and fishing poles through sponsorships, but it has since grown into a free, one-day fishing event in Fond du Lac and Oshkosh, attracting corporate sponsors and families.

Goebel also excels academically, winning the top scholarship for an incoming member in the business honors society Beta Gamma Sigma in 2008 and maintaining a spot on the University’s Honor Roll. He also is involved in Advertising Club, Young Entrepreneurship Club (YES), Campus Crusade for Christ and UW Oshkosh’s men’s club volleyball team.

Goebel hopes to work in sports marketing, selling sponsorships, after graduation and eventually move into a marketing management position.

“I’ve learned that each internship is a steppingstone,” Goebel said. “And if you really want to stand out you need to expand on every opportunity they give you.”