Should I have an Internship while pursuing a Sports Management Degree?

Earning an Online Master's in Sports Management is a great way for students to prepare for a career in the sports industry. Typically Sports Management programs cover a broad scope of topics including but not limited to finance, business, marketing, and law as they pertain to this highly competitive field. While a great GPA, up to date resume, and glowing references are a good foundation, in Sports Management it is imperative for those applying for high profile positions to truly stand out. There are a few way to make this happen, with one of the most important being participation in a well-established internship program. It is understandable to wonder if working for minimal pay and having minimal responsibility in the industry that you are passionate about is worth it. In short, the answer is absolutely.

Many students who have working experience may feel that an internship will not give them an opportunity to showcase their knowledge, level of expertise, or passion for sports. However, internships in the sports industry serve several purposes. Daily assignments for sports interns can include tasks such as answering the phones, data entry, organizing materials for events, and researching an assigned topic. These tasks may seem insignificant at the surface level, but when done with professionalism and pride, they serve as a window to your work ethic and capabilities. Essentially, an internship serves as one long job interview that gives you an opportunity to show your employer that you are up for assignments regardless of how big or small.

Companies such as the National Basketball Association and affiliated teams, Major League Baseball and affiliated teams, National Hockey League and affiliated teams, National Football League and affiliated teams, Major League Soccer and affiliated teams, and NASCAR all offer internship opportunities. These well known and highly recognized organizations are not easily entered. Participating in an internship program allows students to get their foot in the door, gain a variety of hands of experiences, and begin networking with people both in and out of their assigned team or brand.

Finally, sports internships provide students with a way to stand out over other possible job candidates. With so many young professionals trying to get into the sports management industry, a quality internship on your resume will instantly differentiate you from the crowd. In the event that there are not openings within the company that you are assigned to for your internship, the contacts and references made during the internship could make all the difference as you begin applying for your dream job. With that being said, using the time during and right after internship effectively is of the utmost importance. According to Work in Sports, a few ways to accomplish this are to take your internship seriously by arriving on time and looking professional, using professionalism on each and every task assigned, showing your passion for sports/specific teams sparingly and when appropriate, and use each job assigned as an opportunity to showcase your unique skills and abilities.

Finding a strategic internship in the sports industry is a great way to leverage the benefit of a flexible online Master's in Sports Management. A distance degree can be pursued while working full-time and even traveling around the country and world. While you are looking for the best program, be sure to keep an eye out for those that offer high quality internship opportunities, you won't regret it!