Thank You and Rest In Peace, Phil Sky!

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To graduate with a Business degree from Penn State University, a student must complete an internship. Though I was well aware of this graduation requirement, I spent my junior year and half my senior year with my head buried in the proverbial sand, hoping it would go away when it came to my graduation.

Then Spring 2004 — my final semester of college — happened, and I HAD to do an internship to graduate.

There were a few problems.

  1. I knew what my future was: Pro Basketball (thought was FAR from a reality, or even a possibility, at that point). There weren’t any internships in Altoona, Pennsylvania for aspiring professional basketball players.
  2. Most interns are looking for a future job either at, or somewhere that has something to do with, the business of where they intern at. Not me.
  3. I was severely uninterested in doing any “regular” work as an intern, even just to get the 9 credits for the internship. See the “head in the sand” point above.


Phil Sky (right) with his wife, Roz (left), and Chancellor and Dean Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry (center), at the 2012 Ivyside Society Induction Ceremony. The Skys were inducted into the Ivy Circle category, the highest level of giving at Penn State Altoona. I would give money to Penn State Altoona, but apparently they don’t like Black guys who use profanity anther websites. Ah, fuck it.


Luckily, I had something going for me, too, in the form of my collegiate guardian angel: Penn State Altoona’s Internship Coordinator, Mrs. Cynthia Wood.

Mrs. Wood could see, without me saying it, that I was not interested in a “regular” life after college. And though I have no idea how much Mrs. Wood actually believed I would make basketball happen, she went out of her way to help me land an internship. She didn’t have to do that. She could have left me for dead without an internship and watched me do anytime but graduate in May 2004. Though I joke about this internship situation to this very day with friends, for Mrs. Wood’s help, I am forever grateful.

Mrs. Wood connected me with one Phil Sky, an Altoona benefactor who’d given money to the campus for years. The Port-Sky Cafe is half-named after Phil.

[dt_quote type=”blockquote” font_size=”big” animation=”none” background=”plain”]Get The Mental Workbook and start creating your success, instead of just talking about it. [/dt_quote]

This confluence of events, and what happened after, became known as The Greatest Internship Ever.

I’m writing this because my internship “Boss,” Phillip B. Sky, recently passed away. I didn’t know Phil well enough to say much about him. My internship resulted in very little work and absolutely zero results. But, that internship allowed me to snatch a degree from Penn State University. Maybe this is why the Altoona Alumni Office, to this very day, won’t take my calls. Maybe I should get my college teammate B to call; B worked extremely hard at his internship.

Anyway… Thank You, Phil Sky. I will soon hire interns of my own, and work them to the bone in your honor. RIP.