With the month of March winding down and spring sports seasons in full effect, many soon-to-be college graduates will find themselves on the job market and ready to make decisions that will impact their futures. This time of year also makes me think back to when I was in that position a few years ago, but it also brings to mind a common comment I get from students.
“I want to work in sports.”
I’ll admit, I was one of those students during my undergraduate days. As a Recreation and Sports Management major, I had to complete an internship to complete my educational requirements and that led me to the Sports Information department. Hard work during that year-long internship led me to a two-year Graduate Assistant position in Sports Information, which led to another post-graduate internship before landing a full-time position in the field some three and a half years later. I consider myself lucky in that I found a position in a field that I love and in relatively short order.
In order to find your way in this business it will take hard work, determination and, honestly, a little bit of luck. The good news is that there are several different areas that ‘working in sports’ can encompass and internships or entry level positions are available. The flip side is that most of these positions are voluntary or with minimal compensation, a factor that can often weed out job-seekers who are more worried about how much money they will make immediately than truly finding a way to ‘work in sports.’
For this reason, last spring the athletic department here at SWOSU created an internship program, allowing us to reach out to undergraduate students on campus who may have this career goal of working in sports. We offer internships in three areas of our department: External Affairs, Gameday Operations and Athletic Communications, but we try to show our group of interns a little bit about each of the areas so they can make an educated decision about whether or not this is what they want to pursue a career in.
— SWOSU Athletics (@SWOSUAthletics) March 23, 2016
The downside of our internships is that they are unpaid, a factor that led multiple candidates to keep from pursuing the work this past year. We filled two of the three positions for the majority of the 2015-16 athletic season and now we are looking for our new class of interns after the 2016-17 posting happened last week.
My advice to job seekers is to be proactive in your search for jobs. The opportunities are out there, with two Sports Information Graduate Assistant/Post Graduate Internship positions currently listed on the CoSIDA Job Board. There are several great opportunities out there for those who truly want to find a way to ‘work in sports’ and here are a few of the top places to look: