A sports internship is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The line that comes to mind is the famous advice of my mentor, Leigh Steinberg: “Be kind to your future self.” I teach people that having an internship program and spending the time, money, and effort in empowering young professionals to pursue their potential is nothing but being kind to your future self. Interns are also being kind to their future self, whether they know it or not.
Many successful interns are able to leverage their success for jobs both inside and outside the organization that they are interning for. I’ve seen first-hand over decades in business the way that internships, like the one program we have at Sports 1 Marketing, can help change people’s lives. In light of my experience, I’d like to lay out some of the benefits for both the intern and the company in order to help you understand how to be kinder to your future self.
Learn what kind of job makes you happy
Happiness is defined as the enjoyment of the pursuit of our potential. Having different experiences and learning from others allows people to learn what characteristics and values in sports are aligned with their personal happiness.
Increase situational knowledge
Anytime we are able to have hands-on experience, understand, and increase our situational knowledge, we should take advantage. Sports interns get to learn the ins-and-outs about the sports industry and see firsthand how things are done in the reality of day-to-day business.
Add tools to your toolbelt
Combine skills, knowledge, and desire to create effective habits that drive success in the sports industry. These skills and knowledge are attributed to hands-on experience. You do not just get to see what tools are needed to succeed, but actually, learn and develop your own “tool belt”.
Expand your relationship capital
We’ve all heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Personal relationships and building those bonds are opportunities to put your effort in the forefront. If you understanding value by being of service as an intern while expanding your relationship capital, your value to that company and others will be enhanced for the long run.
Don’t pay the “dummy tax”
Why do you have to suffer when there are mentors out there who are willing to teach you about the “dummy tax” they’ve already paid? As an intern, you’re allowed to make mistakes (or witness others’ mistakes) and learn from them. If you’re more interested than interesting, you can delve into the histories, background, and perspective of your mentors in an organization. Learn about the “dummy tax” that they paid to accelerate the pursuit of your potential to work in sports.
By: David Meltzer