Going from Internship to Full-Time Role - Work in Sports Podcast

Going from internship to full-time role, that's the goal! We explain some techniques and strategies to get you there in this weeks episode of the Work In Sports podcast.


Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

I just got back from a weeks vacation, and I have to tell you, please don’t take this the wrong way, but I didn’t think about anything related to my job. I didn’t consider the podcast, my coming guests, questions I should ask, angles I should delve into or anything really. 

I completely unplugged and it was glorious. Yes, I still peeked at my phone and checked in on sports news, but that’s because this is the industry I love, I want to keep up, I don’t feel obligated to do that. 

So yes, I checked in on Kawhi and Kemba - and then I went back to being outdoors and out of reach. 

I was never good at this when I was younger, I never unplugged and it damaged my relationships.  I was never present, I was always somewhere else thinking my mental presence was necessary at all moments. 

That not the subject for today’s podcast, but I just wanted to let you all know, in the future, you won’t remember the extra phone call or the micromanaging of a project, but you will remember the experiences you are fully present for. Years from now my kids will remember sliding down a 60 foot rock into a 55 degree river in the Pisgah National Forest...and so will I. 

Don’t starve yourself of experiences in the name of grinding out a work life.

Alright, preach complete.   

Today’s questions comes in from Marnie from Mississippi -- 

“Hi Brian, I love the Work in Sports podcast. I have learned so much. I signed up for the online courses and I am already blown away. The depth and step by step advice you share is just so helpful. I have so much more confidence now I am making the decisions that will change my career!

[Ok some of you may be thinking - that is self-indulgent of Brian to read a rousing review of his new online courses and you know what I’d say to that… you are 100% right, it is self-indulgent. And I want more of you to purchase the course, so of course I’m going to share when people like it!]

Ok back on track -- 

Marnie’s question - i just landed and internship at an organization i have always wanted to work for. I am so hopeful this turns into a full-time role. I know I am supposed to focus on doing my absolute best in the role first, but how else can i try to turn this experience into a full time role?”

Marnie - great question and thanks again for joining on for our online course, and for being such a fan of the podcast. I’m glad you find the courses to be unique and powerful, but just a repeat or overlap.

But let’s get to the basics of your question...and then the details:

  • You have targeted this company for a reason and it makes sense you want to work there. That’s part of the strategy of choosing an internship.
  • I don’t really believe in luck, so I’ll say timing plays a role - the opening must exist at the right time. Not getting a full-time role is not a sign of failure, it’s likely the timing was off. Still worth it to get the internship experience.
  • The hard work part is definitely in your control. Impressions count. Delivering on tasks matters. Being known as a yes person willing to do what it takes, it so important.
  • Remember your internship is essentially a long interview process. Every day with your feet on the floor of their operation is a chance to prove you are the right match. You can’t take any days off mentally, you have to be present al all times.
  • Bill belichick - mistake repeater. Can you take criticism and improve on it. That shows growth and  coachabiity.
  • Take notes on your accomplishments, how you improved when challenged, how you’ve been dependable and impacted the business. 
  • All of these points are leading up to the big moment… when you have the sit down with your internship coordinator or the mid level manager etc that you are working under.

2-3 weeks before the end of your internship, it’s time to have “The Conversation” 

  • Every employer I talk to says “they need to know you are interested in their role” because in their mind you may have something else lined up or you may not really want to work there. 
  • You can’t assume they know, you have to communicate. This is a really important step on many levels -- it shows the maturity to communicate, and to step out of your comfort zone, and it tells them, this person is not only qualified, but they are also interested in being here.
  • That’s what we hear a ton from employers -- we want to know candidates are qualified and interested. It is 100% on you to demonstrate your are qualified, and communicate you are interested.

Schedule a meeting with your supervisor - let them know you’d like to have just 10 minutes of their time to discuss your future. 

Have an opening statement -- you are going to lead this conversation.

“I wanted to thank you personally for this internship opportunity, it has pushed me to new levels, showed me more of who I want to be in this industry, and helped me focus on skills I can continue to improve on. 

This is the type of culture I want to become a part of. I believe I can develop into a leader in sports marketing both in a creative and strategic sense and see this agency as perfectly aligned with my goals and aspirations. 

I am very interested in continuing my career here and wanted to know from your perspective if I fit the mold of the type of people you like to hire. If not, please let me know any specific things i can work on to better enhance my eligibility.”

Now, if there is a specific role, mention it here -- "I’d like to be considered for the open Marketing Coordinator role."

So why do we frame the conversation this way?

  1. You are showing enthusiasm for the organization and the culture. 
  2. You are respecting all they have taught you
  3. You are stating something more dynamic than, “I want a job here” you are making a case and stating your goals
  4. You are also opening yourself up to feedback, which shows humility as well.

Write your own this isn’t a script - but work in  your confidence in delivering the message. 

Now part #2 -- they are going to respond. They may even say something like - well, specifically why do you think you are a match for this workplace? 

You have to be armed with accomplishments. I executed these tasks, I improved in these areas, I was coachable when confronted with ways I could improve. 

Be ready to make your case, it won’t be as easy as “i want a job and they say yes! We’ve been waiting for you!”

You have to be ready for the follow up.

How many times have you heard of a friend getting a freebie, or a new job, or a raise and you ask them… how did you do that? And they respond -- i asked.

This is the key to remember - you have to make a strategy to ask. Schedule that meeting, have the conversation, state your wishes and see what happens. They may not have a role, and that’s ok, but they are going to like that you asked, and they are going to enjoy your enthusiasm for their operation.

You've impressed someone just by having this conversation and you’ll have no regrets, you won’t alk out of your internship thiking “I should have tried more!”

Plus it could end up being an opportunity in the future when you least expect it.

Alright, marnie - you have your strategy and your game plan. Don’t forget all of your listeners to check out our Work in Sports Academy online courses -- and if you are a professor contact me directly, we’ll work out a great deal so you can use our online courses in your classrooms!

Win-win for everyone! 

Thanks for listening.

By Brian Clapp | July 08, 2019
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