5 Traits an Intern Can Learn from Successful Sports Stars

interns and sports starsDo you know how Venus Williams turned out to be a successful businessperson?

Yes the tennis ace, Venus Williams is also the proud CEO and founder of EleVen (clothing brand) and V Starr Interiors (interior design company).

The 7-time Grand Slam winner is more than just an amazing athlete, she also has extraordinary leadership traits. People like Venus strongly believe in fostering powerful teams whilst complying with robust leadership principles.

They aspire for new challenges and opportunities.

Interns are on the opposite end of the spectrum, they don't know enough about themselves yet to become a successful leader. The goal of most interns isn't to dominate the sports industry, it is instead one of discovery -- who am I? what do I want? where do I fit?

The best way to answer these questions in yourself is by observing others who have found success and and learning from their experience.

Here are five traits that interns can learn from successful sportspeople and athletes like Venus Williams:

Always Address Challenges Head-on

Venus Williams and other athletes-turned-entrepreneurs face complex issues head-on that others prefer to turn a blind eye to.

Confronting a new challenge or complex problem means that a person is prepared and confident enough to explore and reach new heights. Ignoring it means you lack the competence or strength to handle issues.

Most interns give a half-hearted effort when it comes to making tough decisions, preferring to hope it goes away or is made by someone else, rather than seeing it as an opportunity to stand out.

Successful look for opportunities to make the hard decisions, because they have a strong vision of their future and how each decision will impact it.

It Won’t Be Your Day Always!

You won’t always win.

Venus Williams has lost 212 times on tour, including three times in grand slam finals. Some would focus on the losses, letting it overtake them, but I imagine Venus uses every loss as motivation and a teaching moment.

She likely focuses on the 751 wins, and keeps the losses from overtaking her confidence.

Interns are prone to making mistakes, primarily because they lack the institutional knowledge to be regularly successful.

But, interns can't let that scare them away from the next task or decision.

No one else is going to believe in you, if you don't.

Don't Be Afraid of Breaking Stereotypes

By changing your working style or pattern, you trigger rapid and strong interpersonal and personality change. Though things may turn erratic or the disruption may trigger seismic shifts, it is all about staying confident when it comes to breaking the stereotypes and coming out of your comfort zone.

For many sports personalities, it is a lot like jumping off a mountain.

Nevertheless, when executed with vision and diligence, the change can turn out to be a positive one and a career-changer. As long as you are breaking the stereotypes for all the right reasons, you are heading in the right direction.

Venus Williams and other successful athletes are extraordinary leaders not only because of their amazing vision and leadership traits, but also because of their eagerness in facing new challenges and by becoming role models for others to follow the suit.how to prepare for your sports job search ebook

Be passionate in whatever you do and try to have fun.

Treat Your Co-Workers with Kindness

Sports is all about teamwork and coordination.

Take for instance Venus and sister Serena Williams, they help push each other to new heights. It was Venus who first became the #1 ranked women's tennis player in the world, but Serena, motivated by her sister's success, took over and has dominated women's tennis for the last decade plus.

They also work together, playing doubles and winning 14 Grand Slam titles.

Now, for an intern, it can be quite easy for a person to fulfill their goals by leaving others behind. This might be great for a short term gain, but will catch up to you in the long run.

It is advisable for interns to be both kind and competitive. This can infer anything right from helping a fellow colleague with some project or agreeing to switch schedules with another intern or offering support when asked.

You can still win without climbing over other people.

Look For Good Coaching

Every noteworthy athlete has a coach pushing them to their best.

These are the people who offered them with the morale support, mentoring and training as the athletes toiled hard to achieve their life goals.

The same holds true for interns.

Professional mentors are an important tool for interns as they seek true guidance, assistance and support. Everyone needs a stable, dependable voice ready to answer questions, point out mistakes and steer towards the most efficient manner of reaching goals.

Right from applying for that intern role at your dream company to interviewing and setting yourself for the first day at work, it is advisable to fetch expert consulting and advice from a career consultant.

After all, athletes never celebrate alone!


The innate ability to bloom under stringent pressures is the most highlighting trait of successful athletes.

They tend to excel when pushed beyond the limits. They stay focused on things that matter the most to them by avoiding distractions. They show amazing ability of bouncing back from setbacks with sheer determination and a burning desire to win.

Last but not the least, all these successful sportspeople take out time to celebrate their achievements. It helps them to remind why all the dedication and hard work is worthwhile. So, never forget to celebrate your achievements, however small they seem to be.

Author bio:

Anwar Shaikh is a creative-cum-technical writer focusing on cloud computing, career advice/leadership, business intelligence and human resource management. A self-made and reared-up writer, Anwar writes for Pocket HCM, a leading provider of cloud based payroll and HRMS software.

You can find more about Anwar at LinkedIn | Twitter | Google+  | Facebook
By Brian Clapp | June 21, 2017
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