Transitioning from an Internship to a Full-Time Role - Work in Sports Podcast

How do you earn a full-time role after an internship or a seasonal role finishes up? Great topic! Listen in.

Hi, everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

Before we get into today’s topic a few notes…

We’re running a March Madness bracket on and anyone who plays in the bracket and beats me gets a free month at

Well…right now I’m in 219th place. Seriously…my bosses are unhappy with my decisions. The good news for me is I have 12 remaining teams. I did not have Virginia Tech, Oregon, Florida State or Texas Tech – so the rest of my bracket looks pretty OK.

Last year I finished 49th out of 400 plus…so I’m gearing up for a late charge.

If you are in the Bracket Challenge, we don’t have a way to contact you directly – so if you end up beating me you can email us at with the subject I beat Brian.

Now, if you are not in the bracket challenge, or just don’t want to wait, you can get a 2-week membership to for just $5 right now…this instant.

Go to  to sign up – 2 weeks $5 a great deal.

I have to admit, I’m a little sad today. Rob Gronkowski is by far my favorite player in the NFL. I loved watching him play the game. He’s like a superhero out there, bodies bouncing off of him, incredible hands, agility, and ability…and he just had so much fun. You hear him in press conferences and he’s trying to be serious, but kind of snickering through the jokes he has in his head…that are eerily reminiscent of 13 year old boys saying poop and laughing that they got away with it.

The guy is like the living embodiment of a yellow lab.

Always happy and smiling, he bounds around breaking shit in the house like a big ball of uncontrollable energy…but you can stay mad at him, you just want to hug him and roll around on the ground with him.

Sometimes he’s awkward and clunky – but he’s always good hearted and just wants to have some fun.

Guy made me laugh, made me cheer, made me envious… I mean who wouldn’t want to be a 6’6” 270 lbs wrecking machine who is also the life of the party.

Here’s the thing about joy. That dude had it in spades – and I’m not sure the rest of us are that good at it. I don’t want to go too deep down this tangent today… but he enjoyed his moments. He celebrated his success.

I get that it’s harder when you are working paycheck to paycheck – trust me, I get that more than you know – but we, as a working class, don’t stop to celebrate victories enough. We don’t enjoy our success.

I ask almost every single one of my industry experts – how do you define success and what does it feel like? Do you celebrate it? Do you enjoy it? Or do you just move on to the next assignment?

I tell you, no one has really handled that question all that well. It’s like success is a bad word, like admitting it is akin to complacency.

That’s bull. Celebrate your moments. Laugh more. Enjoy the people around you more. Cherish your hard work, and the steps you are taking to get to your next level.

Have a little Gronk in you.

Alright – today’s question comes in from Joseph McGrath –

Joseph asks…

“I just completed Week 3 as a merchandise assistant with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.   Our home opener is April 4.  It is a seasonal role and my position runs through September.   When is it appropriate to start asking about a full-time role with the team, and if they don’t have opportunities, when can I start asking for a referral to other teams?”

Joseph this is a very good question, one that many people deal with as seasonal and temporary roles are popular in the sports industry, especially in the minor leagues as teams try to preserve budget by hiring under seasonal roles which allows them to be more flexible in paying out benefits etc.

Not only that, but every one of you who is working an internship or will work an internship, will face the same issue… when can I start asking about next steps?

First things first… 2-3 weeks into a job is way too early to start asking for more.

You are in prove it mode – the people you work with don’t even know you yet… you can’t be the squeaky wheel starting the job and asking for a long-term commitment from them.

It’s like dating… you can’t come right out of the gate and blurt out “I Love You!” …that’s a turn off, so I’m told.

You have to earn the respect of your supervisors before you blurt anything out.

For the first 3-4 months focus on the job and the people. Build relationships through your positive actions, be known as the guy who is dependable, shows up on time, always says yes and does their job with a smile on their face.

Attitude matters an awful lot. People show their displeasure too often in work. They bring their personal baggage to the job and dump it everywhere. Someone shared an analogy with me once, I forget who it was or I’d give them credit, I’m surely not claiming this as my own… but they said there are people who are like garbage trucks, they go along all day storing their negative energy, their drama, their blame, their anger at the world….and the drive around looking for somewhere to dump it.

All to often, they dump it on some underserving person. They woe is me their way through the day…and dump garbage all around the office.

You have to envision yourself as the opposite of this. You have to see everyday as an opportunity to grow and advance in knowledge, aptitude and your persona around the organization.

People take notice of positivity so be that guy!

Focus on relationships – get to know the people in the office, understand what their motivation is, their goals, what success looks like to them. Maybe even become the person willing to help them reach their goals by putting in that little extra.

Learn to be a helper, and go above and beyond – now, people always misunderstand that to say – hey I’m helping others instead of doing my job… NO that is wrong, do your tasks the best you possibly can, then look to help others.

My kids love Kids Baking championship on Food Network, and as I watch it with them, I notice there is a different kind of joy exhibited. They aren’t trying to crush each other, they genuinely want to help one another and cheer each other on, there is positivity and hope.

Such the opposite of most of our reality television…

I’m saying this all so you change your focus from what’s next…to what have I earned?

Do the work better than anyone else, build relationships and focus on making the organization better.

NOW, there comes a point where you job is ending, or your internship is ending, and you need to feel comfortable talking to your boss or internship coordinator about what’s next.

You have earned this conversation because of your hard work…not because the end is near, you’ve earned it because you’ve put in the time and effort. If you haven’t don’t ask, because you’ll likely be embarrassed by their answer.

But if you have put in the effort – ask. Professionally. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here, I’ve loved making this organization a better place and feel like I’m a part of this community. I’d appreciate the opportunity to discuss full-time rolls with you as your schedule permits.”

If they say, sorry we don’t have any full-time rolls, transition into “Well, that’s too bad, but I hope my hard work has earned a referral from you. In addition, any advice you can share about how I can improve, or if you know of other opportunities out there in this field would be greatly appreciated”

How’s that?

So focus on the role, the relationships and then as you get to be about 1-2 months away from the end, start to have those earned conversations.

Hope that helps Joseph and everyone out there in internships or part—time work that they are hoping to transition to full time opportunities!

There is no Facebook Live this week – I’m going ona field trip, camping in the Pocono’s with my daughter!

BUT, we will have an incredible Wednesday podcast with Gloria Nevarez, West Coast Conference commissioner – home of Gonzaga and the first Latina commissioner in DIV 1 athletics.

Also, coming up in two weeks is an interview I just finished today with Lauren Sisler SEC Network reporter… but that’s only part of her story. She lost both of her parents to prescription drug overdoses while in college. She shares that incredible story with us. Quick bit on that… I asked Lauren permission to go this direction in our interview, and she said yes, because if she can help one person struggling with addiction or who has a family member doing so it’s all worth it.

Well, I’ll tell you she went deeper than expected, she was so raw and honest – I commend her, she nearly brought me to tears…but I’m a pro so I held back. Can’t wait for you all to hear it and share her story.

2 weeks! April 3rd

Now get back to work!

By Brian Clapp | March 25, 2019
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