Career Tip of the Week: School or School of Hard Knocks?
Sport is a highly competitive field. Not just on the field, but in the job market as well. Sometimes hundreds of applicants apply for just one opening and the largest media organizations receive thousands of resumes a year. How do you make yourself stand out? It’s a difficult question with many factors. Experience is an important one, and we’ll take a look at that now.
The catch-22 of sports employment is that to get a job you need experience. But how do you get experience if you can’t get a job? One way is through a graduate degree. Graduate programs help bridge the gap between what you already know and what you need to know to succeed in sports.
“A good graduate program will develop or enhance the skill sets applicable to a career in sport management,” says Dr. Andrew Kreutzer, Associate Professor at the Sports Administration and Facility Management program at Ohio University. “It enables you to bring you current experience in line with individuals who already have a knowledge of the industry.”
Graduate programs have sprung up at more than 100 universities nationally in the past few years. With such a large number to choose from, the prospective applicant needs to consider a few factors before enrolling:
- Reputation – How long has the program been in existence? What kind of track record do graduates have? How do people in the industry view the school?
- Curriculum – What areas of study does the school focus on? Is it geared toward business? Law? Exercise Sciences?
- Access to Experience – What kind of practicum or internship programs does the school offer? Can you get hands on experience, or is all learning done in the classroom?
- Program Length – Can you graduate in one year? Two? How much time can you spend out of the workplace? Can you attend classes and work a full-time job?
Granted, there are other concerns, but these should help in making a decision to return to school. Even if a graduate program isn’t for you, there are other options to gaining experience. Volunteering, for one. Many events and organizations rely on volunteers to help meet their staffing demands. You’ll learn the business and perhaps catch someone’s eye. Internships are another. Because the supply of applicants is high and the job-openings few, organizations use interns to save money. Find the right one and you may turn it into a full-time position. Whatever your choice, remember that experience is the key to getting a first look in sports. Get it wherever you can and use it to your advantage.
Five Hot Jobs of the Week:
- Director of Athletics – Georgetown University (Washington, DC) – The Director of Athletics shall sustain three-fold commitment to educational excellence, competitive success and integrity by leading and inspiring a staff of coaches, student?athletes and athletic administrators, while maintaining a collegial environment within the athletic department as well as among University administrators and faculty.
- Editorial Assistant – Golfweek (Orlando, FL) – Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, editing and posting original content and wire copy; writing headlines, blurbs and daily wrap-ups; preparing photos, graphics and agate and reacting to news and breaking stories.
- Ticket Sales Executive – Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Waldorf, MD) – Selling season tickets, partial plans, and group tickets to companies and individuals via phone, prospecting, personal appointments, and at games.
- Stadium Operations Internship – CD Chivas USA (Carson, CA) – Assist in the set-up for game day. Set-up of locker rooms for (referees, opposing teams). Supervision of pre-game activities, halftime activities, set-up and breakdown.
- Sports Editor – Daily Times Leader (West Point, MS) – Responsibilities include covering area sporting events, writing headlines and cutlines, compiling round-ups as well as covering area high school sporting events.
We also have a bonus posting for a virtual internship with this site. Click here for the details on the position and instructions on how to apply!
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