Finding a Sports Job as a Student-Athlete – Work In Sports Podcast

Hey, everybody, it’s Brian…

I have to admit, I never really considered getting my Masters because I thought it would be restrictive on my career. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but really, I didn’t want to stop my job to get my Masters.

But the world has changed, Master’s programs are more flexible than ever, and they can really vault your career forward. Check out Georgetown for example. 

It used to be if you wanted a Master’s from Georgetown you were relocating to Washington DC… but now, Georgetown offers a part-time Master’s in Sports Industry Management that is ideal for working professionals, offering flexible options to take classes online, on-campus, or through a combination of both—so you don’t have to interrupt your career to earn your degree. 

The program prepares you to excel in the global sports industry by learning the communication, business, and leadership strategies that will position you for success.

To learn more about the program, visit scs.georgetown.edu/workinsports

Alright, let’s start the countdown…

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at WorkInSports.com and this is the Work In Sports podcast. 

I have to apologize for no episodes last week — I failed all of you! I was at the National Sports Forum in Atlanta last week and wow what an event. I’m not a huge conference-goer — but this was pretty cool. Lots of learning opportunities, I booked a ton of new podcast guests and got out of my comfort zone and networked. 

I know right, kind of crazy, I actually went up and talked to people. A lot. And I didn’t die. Who knew!

One other note I thought of and wanted to share before we get into this week’s fan question — there were about 1,000 people at this conference. That’s a big number, right? There was a huge hall with all 1,000 people packed in to hear Arthur Blank owner of the Falcons and Atlanta United, speak. 

I looked around and thought — wow, this is a lot of people hanging on his every word! 

And then it dawned on me. Every week, twice a week, we get about 2,000 of you listening to every episode. Two of those conference halls, packed with all of you, our listeners. And it made me feel extremely grateful. 

So thank you. Thank you for listening, and sharing and trying to learn and improve yourselves. I’ll tell you what, I guarantee I’ve learned as much from all of you, and all of our guests, as you have from me. 

Alright, enough sappy stuff, on to today’s question which comes in from Spencer:

Hi Brian — I will be graduating in May with a degree in marketing. I have also been a 4-year student-athlete which has consumed most of my time meaning I do not have much internship experience (8 months). Some of the positions I have applied to respond saying the lack of experience is an issue. Is there anything you recommend for a student-athlete with a 3.7 cumulative GPA in their job search in collegiate/professional sports? Thank you!

This is a question I get a lot – and it is a good one – so let’s dig into it because I have a lot of thoughts on the subject and even if you aren’t a student-athlete they will help you. 

Student-athletes lack the time to complete internships. But so do people that have to support themselves through college, so this scenario isn’t limited to those who play. 

Let’s dig into it.. (for a more detailed explanation listen in to the podcast episode!)

1: Your job search starts with Networking

2: lean into your special skills — tell your story

  • Leadership
  • Time management
  • Coachability
  • Competitiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to handle pressure
  • Maturity
  • Dependability
  • Time management

3: Play the 8mile game in your cover letter. The cover letter is your weapon of choice. 

4: Consider starting in sales.

5: Find the right culture. 

I hope that helps Spencer — remember to lean into your unique skills and attributes rather than trying to walk down the same path as everyone else. 

Blind resumes and applications won’t work as well for you because you won’t pass the skills filter. You need a new way – which is what we are talking about. Don’t be afraid to think differently. 

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently, Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, do it.

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