For a lot of college students, an internship is an option and not a must. While Daniel Purjes agrees that not all entry-level jobs for fresh graduates require an internship, he cautions against skipping an internship for anyone looking to get into professional sports management, regardless of your area of specialization. Because sports management is highly competitive field where experience counts more than academic performance, Daniel Purjes knows that one of the best ways to even be considered for a job is through an internship.
Sports management is a multi-billion industry, and as such, only the best and most experienced are considered for any one of its branches. For a college student, building your skills and experience includes your active involvement in sports clubs or organizations, participation in relevant events, and internships. Here Daniel Purjes shares three ways to get an internship.
Approach your college professors and guidance counselor
If you’re serious about landing a relevant internship, don’t hesitate to approach your professor/s; and the sooner you do it, the better. They may be able to recommend an internship you can apply for, or they could personally recommend you to intern for companies/organizations in the sports industry. They may know company owners or some insiders that can take you in. You can also approach your guidance counselor for career advice. It is best to apply early as some internship applications have a fall deadline.
Attend student-ran conferences and job fairs
A good way to launch a career in sports management is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Be among your tribe, so to speak. For college students, this could mean participating in conferences and job fairs organized by fellow students. Some of these could be out-of-state events, but don’t let distance stop you from joining if you deem that the event will be good for your resume and skill-building experience. Events like these, adds Daniel Purjes, are great venues for exposure and networking.
Sign up for leadership programs
At certain times of the year, usually in the summer, leadership programs are held by various professional organizations and institutions. These could run for a week or two weeks, and your participation here could get you connected with the right people. What makes this event different from the conferences and job fairs mentioned above is that you get to meet a specific group of people, which means this is where you could meet a mentor—someone who can spend personal, one-on-one time with you to teach you the ropes.
To help you get started, Daniel Purjes recommends that you check out Manhattan Sports Business Academy’s leadership program. It’s a summer program that aims to get the next generation of sports management and business professional ready for the job. Internships, a series of lectures, office tours, and mentorship are the highlights of this leadership program.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to get an internship. The key is to play an active role in getting your foot in the door, says Daniel Purjes. Good luck!