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

Hey, everybody, it’s Brian...

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Alright, let’s start the countdown…

Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at 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. 

By Brian Clapp | February 17, 2020
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