By Mark Tudi |
Sport is a highly competitive industry. Not just on the field, but in the job market as well. Sometimes hundreds of applicants apply for just one opening and the largest media organizations receive thousands of resumes a year. How do you make yourself stand out? It’s a difficult question with many factors. Experience is an important one, and we’ll take a look at that now.
The Catch-22 of sports employment is that to get a job you need experience. But how do you get experience if you can’t get a job? One way is through a graduate degree.
Graduate programs help bridge the gap between what you already know and what you need to know to succeed in sports, and in the past few years have sprung up at more than 100 universities nationally. With such a large number to choose from, the prospective applicant needs to consider a few factors before enrolling:
• Reputation – How long has the program been in existence? What kind of track record do graduates have? How do people in the industry view the school?
• Curriculum – What areas of study does the school focus on? Is it geared toward Business? Law? Exercise Sciences?
• Access to Experience – What kind of practicum or internship programs does the school offer? Can you get hands on experience, or is all learning done in the classroom?
• Program Length – Can you graduate in one year? Two? How much time can you spend out of the workplace? Can you attend classes and work a full-time job?
Granted, there are other concerns, but these should help in making a decision to return to school.
Even if a graduate program isn’t for you, there are other options to gaining experience. Volunteering, for example. Many events and organizations rely on volunteers to help meet their staffing demands. You’ll learn the business and perhaps catch someone’s eye. Internships are another. Because the supply of applicants is high and the job-openings few, organizations use interns to save money. Find the right one and you may turn it into a full-time position.
Whatever your choice, remember that experience is the key to getting a first look in sports. Get it wherever you can and use it to your advantage.