How to Compete for Top Sports Internships - Work In Sports Podcast

How do you gain enough experience so that you can land competitive internships? We have a bunch of great ideas on this episode of the Work In Sports podcast that will help you stand out from the crowd.

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

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break since as you know I didn’t release a podcast last week you can assume I had a very nice relaxing time of it. In all seriousness, the first year of the podcast I had a theory that Thanksgiving week would be the absolute best week to publish an episode because people are traveling, flying, driving all across the nation… and what better time to have a great podcast episode. 

Well, that was a fallacy. First-year, we had a super slow week for downloads and I felt like I wasted a great guest. The next year I was like -- you know let’s give this a go again -- I’m going to trust my instincts and try really hard to get a great guest and promote the heck out of this thing… and crickets. 

Now, I’ve learned that my instincts in this were wrong, so I kind of take the week off from publishing and recharge a bit. 

Let that be a lesson to you -- don’t be stubborn in your decision making, check the data to back up your instincts and be open to being wrong. I am wrong often, and I am 100% OK with it. While I’m not a motivational “sayings” guy, I do believe it is better to make mistakes by trying new things, than to get stuck in repeating mediocrity. 

Ok, well..over this break… my kids got way into Avengers movies… so yeah, we watched a ton of Avengers movies. Obviously, they loved Endgame and infinity War… but boy did they fall hard for Black Panther and Captain Marvel. I think my daughter has new goals in life. Forget being a famous author and artist - now she wants to be captain marvel.   

I, of course, love Thor. It’s more of admiration than a man-crush. Oh who am I kidding, it’s a full-on man-crush. 

That’s the best part of Thanksgiving if you ask me -- forgetting all the things you need to do in the future and just being present in the moment with family. 

Some hot chocolate and a comfy couch make it all the better.

But enough superhero talk --  let’s get into our Q &A session!

Question comes from Anita in Michigan  --

“Hey Brian -- I LOVE your podcast. (she capitalized the LOVE, so I tried to give it the right emphasis) 

You are fun to listen to, plus, your information and advice is so easy to digest and put to action. I can’t believe I’ve never been taught anything like this during my first two years of college!

I’m writing today because I have a bit of a problem I’m hoping you can help with. I know how much you stress the importance of internships and gaining experience...but as I look at internships I’m amazed how competitive they are, and how much experience they expect. I thought that was the whole point - to gain experience on their internship!

What can I do to make myself more marketable to internship opportunities so I can gain the experience I so desperately need!”

Anita - this is so great. I know you are frustrated, I can hear it in your writing, but trust me the fact you are asking this question shows your head is in the right place. 

I would much rather you ask this question in your sophomore year...than others who come to me in their senior year, or during grad school, or even after graduating… saying something like “um, so I have no experience, didn’t do any internships, but I love sports, and have a high GPA - can you get me a job?”

You laugh -- but this probably happens twice a week.

 So Anita -- let’s talk strategies!

1: Volunteering is your first move. 

2: Start a blog and attempt to interview people who are in the niche you want to pursue. 

3: Join industry groups

4: Job Shadow 

5: Seek out Leadership opportunities in campus - connected to sports

Listen in to this great episode of the Work In Sports podcast to learn specifics about gaining experience for internships.

By Brian Clapp | December 02, 2019
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