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Tips for Getting an Internship With a Major Sports Team

Thu, Sep 13, 2012

Internship Information

The time you spend in college will no doubt be filled with activities, from attending classes and doing homework, to participating in clubs and extracurricular activities, to socializing with peers. You might even have to hold down a part-time job while you’re in school in order to make ends meet (with the cost of tuition and fees rising and fewer scholarships offered, even parental help and student loans may not be enough to see you through all four years). But if you can manage to squeeze in even one more thing you should try to make time for an internship. And you could do worse than applying for positions with major sports teams. However, there are a few caveats inherent in nabbing such a high-profile internship. Here are a few things you might want to consider before you apply.

  1. Know the sport. If you don’t know the first thing about football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or whatever major sport you happen to be seeking an internship in, chances are good that you won’t make it past the first interview. The competition for these coveted spots is high since the name of a sports team looks great on a résumé (and there is always a chance that an internship could lead to a more permanent gig with the organization). So even if you don’t have time to learn the entire history of the sport, you should at least understand the basic rules of the game, have knowledge of the teams, and be able to rattle off a few player names if you want to pass muster.
  2. Be a fan. The athletic organization you’re applying with will have their pick of the litter when it comes to interns, so those that aren’t fans of the team will likely be the first to get the axe. This isn’t to say that you necessarily need to renounce your loyalty to a rival team, but you should definitely make an effort to learn about the particular team you’re applying with and develop an appreciation for their organization.
  3. Work towards a related degree. There are all kinds of job types within the structure of a sports team, so if you’re not going for some kind of athletic degree it doesn’t necessarily knock you out of contention for an internship in the sports world. But you should be working towards a degree that has relevant applications to the team, such as business management, accounting, marketing, and so on. Of course, it couldn’t hurt to have a targeted minor degree (kinesiology?) or be involved in sports yourself.
  4. Take anything. Beggars can’t be choosers, and if you want the name of a well-known athletics group on your résumé it doesn’t matter if you’re handing the players water after practice or drafting memos for the general manager. There’s always room to move up if you impress the people training you, regardless of where you start out.
  5. Try and try again. You are probably aware that internships with major sports teams are going to be difficult to get (about as difficult as NFL tickets to see the Super Bowl). But don’t let a minor setback stop you dead in your tracks. Persistence is the key to getting noticed by your team of choice and if you make a good impression and keep coming back, chances are good that you’ll be recognized the next time around and they’ll offer you the internship eventually.
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