In Part 1 of this article, students who recently completed internships as part of the University of San Francisco's Master's in Sport Management Program shared their views on what can be learned from the internship experience.
They also offered some advice for others considering entering the sports industry:
What do you wish you knew about the sports industry three years ago that you now know?
Taylor Lydon I wish I knew how valuable experience in the industry is. It does not even have to be a long term job - even an unpaid internship for a week will let you gain experience and help in making connections to other industry professionals. These experiences often have demanding hours, but the work is usually not too difficult. Gain any experience you can - you never know how it can lead to your next opportunity.
Justin Marshall I wish I knew that success lies (in part) with who you know. I wish I had made more of an effort to reach out to people and use various opportunities I had during my undergraduate degree.
Tim Feaster The number of opportunities there are within sports management. On the first day of graduate school I was convinced that I was going to be a general manager or scout. Through networking, informational interviews and research I have learned that there is much more to the business than meets the eye. What you think you want to do today may not be what you end up doing. The opportunities are there for anyone interested and persistent enough to want to be a part of the industry.
Sarah Hayes The sports industry is so much more than MLB, NBA and NFL teams. Many non-sports companies have departments that handle sports related accounts or affiliations. Also, retail brand opportunities are so much more that just clothes. Look outside professional teams for opportunities in marketing, sponsorship and player representation.
What is the best career advice you have ever heard?
Mary Lazar The best advice I have been given is to keep my ear to the ground. Especially in the sports industry, it could be one phone call, one person, one opportunity that we may not have expected to arise that changes our professional career.
Zhe Yu Find out what you want to do in your career. Reach out to people who can help you get an internship or job. Don't take a position unless it will help you gain experience or improve your skills - even if the pay sounds good.
Rob Collins As a swim coach/director, when dealing with parents you are only as good a coach - in their eyes - as their kid's last swim.
Joel Keylon Four things come to mind: 1) Start learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. 2) If it matters to them, it matters to us. 3) Don't compare yourselves to others. 4) From J.J. Watt, "Success isn't owned. It's leased and the rent is due every day".
Steven Broudy Outwork every one of your peers and you will be recession proof.
A special thank you to the students who were willing to share their experiences as interns in Part 1 of this article and those who reflected on what they now know (versus three years ago) and shared career advice in Part 2.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @SprtsMktgProf to get updates when new sports career articles are posted.