How to get a Sports Internship
Nowadays it is very important to be trained in the field you are interested in, since in the working world it is very demanded to have a degree, whether it is a course, a technician, a degree or a master’s degree. In addition to having a degree, what companies also look for in their candidates is the experience they have, that is if they have worked in any other company.
For the student, it is very important to receive complete training when completing any degree, in most cases in universities only teach the theoretical part but do not put into practice what they have learned in the classroom. Doing an internship during and after the degree can be of great help for the student to see the reality of how the different activities and tasks are performed within a company in the sector.
Sports Internships and how to get a first Job in Sports
What is an internship?
An internship is a student’s first step into the world of work, combining typical work activities and learning acquired during classes. It is a way for students to develop their skills on the job by applying their knowledge and gaining a deeper understanding of the area of their degree. Usually an internship ranges from 1 month to 1 year depending on the center where it is performed, if it is voluntary or mandatory within their program of study as well as the time the student can.
Internships in Sports
Year after year the sports industry has grown exponentially and everything seems to keep growing, so more professionals in the sector will be demanded as jobs in this industry are also growing. Due to this growth in recent years, there have already appeared not only sports masters, but also university degrees such as sports management, sports marketing, sports law among many others.
To complement these careers and to gain experience in the sports industry, there are also these professional internships in sports, i.e. internships in sports companies or organizations. The sports industry is similar to other industries, but has its specific aspects, so it is important to add to the curricula of careers related to sport, that their students perform internships in sports companies, or related to the world of sport, to put into practice all the theory learned and also acquire new knowledge. In order to learn how to kick a soccer ball it is not enough just to learn the theory, the most important part is to put the theory into practice to really see how it is done and with practice improve the skills. This is more technical, but it can be perfectly adapted to the academic and work environment since everything learned in class is a base to know how it really works.
Where can you search a sports internship?
Universities, sports graduate schools and other type of academic organizations offering programs related to sports
In some cases, universities or sports graduate schools that offer sports degrees or masters, in their own study plans, include sports internships or many times the same universities have agreements with companies so that their students can do internships in the sports industry in their facilities, which makes it easier for students to find companies to do internships either during or at the end of the degree. That is to say, all these academic organizations usually have an internal employment exchange that facilitates their students’ access to the labor market in the world of sports or in each sport discipline.
Your personal network
Another way to find sports internships or a first sports job in the sports world is through personal contacts. Having contacts whether they are friends, family or former classmates who work within a company in the sports industry can be of great help since companies do not usually publish these types of internships for the entire public.
Web search engines for sports internships and sports jobs
If you do not have many contacts in companies in the sports industry and your university, sports graduate school or educational center does not have the best agreements with companies, the easiest way to find a sports internship is through a sports job search engine or a search engine like Google. Some companies do publish their internship offers on the internet so you can find them in different places. And a slightly more complicated way to get a sports internship is to contact directly with the company of interest to the student.
Networks and Social Media platforms
Networks like Linkedin or Impulsyn itself are a way to search for jobs and internships in sports, but more importantly, networks that allow you to connect with users working in different sports organizations.
We remind you that if you want to work at Puma, Adidas or Nike, it is not these organizations who make the decision to hire you, but the people who work in them, people like you. Networking is an essential aspect when looking for a first sports job or a sports internship in the world of sport and professional social networks such as Linkedin and Impulsyn help to connect with different users in the sector according to the interests, priorities and background of each person.
Types of Sports Internships
There are several types of sports internships, but the two main ones are paid internships, i.e., a certain amount of money is received for the time that the internship is performed within the company and the unpaid internships only receive the experience and knowledge of the working world, no payment is received.
It may be preferable to have a paid internship since the intern receives a mini salary in exchange for doing different jobs within the company, but they are not always the best. It will depend entirely on what the intern wants, on the company where the internship will be done and on what is going to be done within the company.
It is advisable to do an internship either during the degree or after graduating. During the degree, whether it is a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or some other program, it can help to enhance all the knowledge acquired in the classes and to acquire new knowledge during the experience in the company. At the end of any degree it can also be of great help to do some internships since having doubts about where to work can be a problem and entering a job that is not of interest can lead to low satisfaction. By doing sports internships everyone can become aware of what they really want to do by getting to know different areas and different types of sports companies.
We will following explain the details of both, either paid and unpaid internships and when to take them.
Paid internships mean that the intern will receive a certain amount of money for the time he/she spends in the company. As the internship is usually fewer hours per day than a normal job, the amount of money the intern receives will not be like a salary. Whether the internship is paid or unpaid will depend mainly on the company where the internship will take place.
There is no specific aspect of the student or graduate for their internship to be paid or unpaid, but many times internships for master’s students and graduates are usually paid since they are with jobs as similar as if they were employees of the organization and have more working time, this does not mean that internships for a degree or course students are always going to be unpaid.
If you do an unpaid internship, be aware that the intern does not receive any economic amount in exchange for his/her job. It should be noted that internships, once offered, usually mention from the beginning whether they will be paid or not. These internships could be seen as “free” work, but it is not entirely so. An unpaid internship can be considered as a test prior to being an employee of that company since many times the same companies evaluate the level, quality and professionalism of the work to consider it as an opportunity to train new employees.
It is true that during this type of internship you work and do not receive anything monetary, but you increase your knowledge of the industry and you can see how things really work, you can improve the skills you already have, you will have work experience which is very demanded nowadays when applying for a job. You can also make contacts that in the future can help you a lot.
If what the student or graduate really wants is to continue learning and does not yet need to receive any kind of salary, this type of internship can be very beneficial for the intern.
Benefits for organizations and students during the sports internship
For companies or organizations, offering sports internships to students or graduates has its benefits, firstly because interns help with work for the company and secondly it can be an opportunity to train future employees of the company by analyzing how they work during the internship period.
Advantages for students by doing a sports internship
For students or graduates, it is an opportunity to get to know the real mworking world, having to comply with typical employment issues such as meeting deadlines, complying with a level of productivity, attending meetings and following the orders of their boss or tutor. But something very interesting for many graduates is the possibility that the internship can turn into a job within the company and they can stay with the company at the end of the sports internship period.
Students will normally put into practice many of the concepts learned in class, but most importantly, they will be able to see first-hand what the day-to-day life of a club, an agency, a federation or a sports product company is like. The most important thing and the first thing that will be required of them is attitude. An intern will not be asked for immediate performance, but he/she will be asked for maximum attitude and flexibility. When a student who is studying a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or any course related to sport is doing a sports internship, we recommend that he/she is aware of it, that he/she enjoys it and that he/she gives his/her 200%, since his/her future in his/her current organization or in any other organization in the sports industry will depend on it. Contacts always play a fundamental role and even more within an industry like sports, it is very important to give a good image from the first day.
Advantages for the organizations by offering a sports internship
Within the company, the intern usually has a designated tutor working in the area where the sports internship will be carried out who assigns the tasks to be performed and to whom the intern must present them. Sports organizations or organizations working in the sports industry usually offer internships for 1, 3 or 6 months, which later, depending on the students’ performance, may or may not be extended or renewed.
The salaries received by interns depend very much on the type of organization and the country where the internship takes place. Companies located in countries such as Germany, France, Ireland or the United States usually offer much more attractive conditions than countries such as Spain, Italy or Portugal. In addition, a multinational company will be able to provide students with more resources than a start-up. It is very important that the student is always aware where he/she is and what is the purpose of the sports internship, all this will help to avoid problems and frustrations in the short and medium term.
Organizations also have to be smart when choosing interns for their role in the sports industry. A start-up is likely to be a better fit for undergraduate students who are generally looking for learning and a first work experience to build their resume. A master’s student is usually looking for a paid sports internship with the possibility of access to the labor market. Although this is very theoretical because when it comes down to it, different options and scenarios may arise in each case.
What does a sports internship involve?
This question is very important because when you start something, you wonder what you are really going to do. The same thing can happen when starting an internship in sports. What you are going to do during your sports internship will depend entirely on the company and the tutor assigned to you. When starting a sports internship, the tutor usually tells you more or less what you are going to do during your stay.
Some sports internships may be in a specific area of the company, for example in the sales area, and you will only see and develop tasks on this specific area, but there are also sports internships in which the intern rotates through different areas so that he/she can get to know what is done in each one. In this case, the intern is available if help is needed in any area.
You can also do all type of jobs during your sports internship, from the most basic tasks such as taking inventories or sending emails to more complex tasks such as placing orders, looking for sponsors or digital marketing tasks among other things.
Length of an internship in the sports industry
The total time the intern will be at the company also depends on several aspects. It mainly depends on how long the company wants to have the intern, how much free time the intern has or if the university or academic organization requests a minimum time to fulfill the sports internship.
Generally a sports internship can range from a couple of weeks to a year. It is difficult to find sports internships that are longer than a year because the student will at some point want to look for a permanent job where he/she can stay for the future. The sports internships that are part of the study plans are of one or two semesters at the most, while the sports internships that are done on their own either during or at the end of the degree vary much more and depend mainly on the organization where they are done.
Companies where you can do a sports internship or get your first job in sports
The company where the sports internship is going to be done has to be mainly of interest to the person who is going to take the internship. In the case of a sports internship, the type of companies in which these internships could be carried out are:
- Sports clubs
- Sports marketing agencies
- Gyms or fitness centers
- Sports federations
- Sports event organizers
- Sporting goods companies
- Digital sports equipment companies
- Other types of non-sports companies that work in the sector through sponsorship agreements or contracts.
The choice of the company where the student is going to do the sports internship also has to be based on the degree or sports graduate program in which the student is or has already finished or what he/she wants to do in the future. We wish the student had the option to choose the sports organization where he/she could do his/her sports internship, but the reality is that the competition is huge and many times the student has to see how to access the sports organization where he/she wants to access and enter accepting any kind of internship, it doesn´t need to be related to his/her preferred area, and then from within the organization he/she can move towards where he/she wants to go.
Reasons to do an internship in the sports industry
Throughout this post we have talked about the benefits of doing a sports internship as it helps to complement all the information acquired during the classes since the student tests his skills and knowledge in a company within the sports industry, but there are two very important reasons why every student, either during the bachelor´s degree/ graduate program or at the end, should do a sports internship.
Being able to make contacts and grow your network in the sports industry through a sports internship is something to value a lot because even if you have the necessary knowledge and skills, it can be difficult to get a job or an opportunity in sports companies without contacts.
Nowadays people who find jobs in different industries are usually thanks to someone they knew within the company. It is also very important to make contacts with your classmates, since in the future some of them may become partners or collaborating companies.
Experience is highly demanded in the resume of every candidate, it´s always requested for any sports job. Companies mostly look for young people who have already worked in the industry and know how the sports industry works in this case.
Doing a sports internship during their bachelor´s degree can help students a lot because at the end of their studies they graduate, both with a degree and some work experience. A student can have 1, 2 degrees or 5 masters, but there is nothing as valued as work experience. We recommend you to do a sports internship as soon as you can and the university let you, the sooner the better.