Applying for internships and jobs is a lengthy and challenging process, especially if you are trying to enter a competitive field. I’ve learned this firsthand as a woman trying to land a career in sports. A message to those like me, struggling to break through into the sports industry – I feel your pain. But throughout my journey I’ve learned some very important lessons that have helped me get farther than I ever imagined going.
Take a chance, put yourself out there. You won’t get to where you want to be if you don’t take risks, and I firmly believe in this. I’m going to talk a little about my journey because I think my experience and insight could be helpful for those out there facing the same dilemma, especially females trying to pursue a career in sports.
First lesson: Don’t become discouraged so easily.
Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. The summer going into my junior year of college, after a few phone interviews with big name companies and no call backs (along with several automated rejection e-mails), I began to feel very discouraged.
I finally landed an internship with a professional soccer team and knew virtually little to nothing about the sport before I started. They took a chance on me and I am forever indebted to them, because it ended up being an experience of a lifetime.
I was also fortunate enough to intern with my university’s athletic department. By immersing myself into the sports world and gaining so many new skills while doing it, I had no doubt in my mind that I would land a killer sports internship the summer going into my senior year.
Second lesson: Don’t bank on landing your dream position.
Reality decided to bite me in the ass and I did not land the awesome sports internship I thought I would. Being rejected sucks, but what sucks even more is being rejected and feeling like you could have done the job better than whomever got it.
So there I was, back at home when the school year ended thinking, “What in the hell am I going to do with myself this summer?” Well, I am the first person to tell you that things will eventually fall into place. Although I would have been much better off that summer if I had planned on some backup options as well.
Third lesson: Expand your horizons and find something out of your comfort zone.
Sports are straight up my forte. However, it won’t kill you to explore different options in your general field. I am now sitting comfortably in my cube at the National Geographic Channel. You may be thinking, “Well that’s definitely not sports.” You’re right, it’s not. But it’s just as good, if not better, to have an iconic international brand on my resume.
The point is, take chances. Even if it’s not exactly what you wanted, professional experience helps you no matter what you are doing and it will pay off when employers are looking at your resume and see that you were proactively trying to get experience.
Resources for you to use in the sports industry:
To finish this off, I want to provide a few resources that helped me apply for internships and jobs in the sports field. Listed below are a few websites that have numerous job and internship postings. And even if this is only useful to a few of you, I’ll be grateful to have helped.