Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sport Management Internships

On I-95 SportsBiz we focus on sports business topics, naturally. On this post I am going to take a little different twist. I am going to write from my own experiences and my opinion of sport management internships. To get a 'foot in the door' internships are necessary in the sport management field. There is one issue I have with the almost mandatory internships, they are NOT paid. So here is my argument....

This summer I am interning with the Philadelphia 76ers. I have just completed my first month and the experience is valuable as well as the networking I have been able to do. My internship is monday through friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Needless to say this takes up most of my time every week. The work I do with the Sixers requires some physical work but mostly computer work. It takes me between 1.5 and 2 hours round trip to go back and forth from the internship. The gas it cost me is quite significant, in fact I calculated the cost and it is about $20 every day. $20 a day times 5 days a week is $100 a week.... in gas. Again to repeat my income is $0. I am receiving 3 credits for school from the internship, but for those credits... I have to pay. This internship is costing me a lot of money. I am very fortunate to have parents that help me out financially, otherwise I would not be able to afford to intern with my favorite basketball team.

The problem that I have with sport management internships is the fact that it is not an equal opportunity for all students.


I wonder the same thing....



I am very fortunate to be able to have an internship because of the financial help of my parents. Student's opportunity to make money for the year comes in the summer. Students who do not have the financial support or need to generate income for the school year, CAN'T do internships for free. As I said earlier, internships are necessary for success in the industry. The students who can't afford to do an internship will not get the necessary experience to break into the industry. How is this fair? ..... ITS NOT.



I look around me and I have a lot of friends who have paid internships in their field of study. They make $15 to $20 an hour and are enjoying life while gaining valuable experience. I am not asking for that much money... I am simply saying that internships need to provide minimum wage like all other jobs in this country. I could write for days about my disappointment in the sport industry and how they take advantage of the supply of potential interns, but I will hold back.

Final Thought


The sport industry is VERY competitive. Teams and organizations can get their employees to work for close to nothing (or nothing at all). In the laws of economics the sport industry is doing the right thing. They have a large demand for their jobs and they have an almost unlimited supply of employees to choose from. Although the sport industry follows the laws of economics, they do not follow any code of morality. Morality may not be important to the sport organizations, but it should be. Then again.... the Philadelphia 76ers do not care what Drew Rosen thinks, but I hope you do.



 @dmrosen7


12 comments:

  1. This has been a huge topic lately with the New York Times running a multi-part piece on the matter. One of the biggest problems is how the internship is run itself. An "internship" is supposed to be all learning and nothing else. If you do any work that helps the company in any way, then you are doing "work" and not learning. Work would be subject to the minimum wage laws. Organizations do take advantage of students in this regard, I think that is pretty well-known. I have read about students who have sued... but then you are immediately black listed so the problems continue further. Very relevant topic and a sensative one at that. Good work Drew.

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    1. I appreciate it. It is something that I am passionate about not for myself but for the people who are going to be left out of the industry because of this problem.

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  2. As a Sport Management major myself at Drexel University, I could never disagree that I wish I was getting paid for the 40 hours each week I put in at my co-op. However, given the competitive nature of the industry that you eluded to, that level would dramatically increase if a salary was included. The students such as ourselves, who truly want to work and make a difference in sports actually benefit in a sense from a lack of salary (as odd as that sounds).

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    1. I agree with your comment. My problem with the situation is that (in my opinion) students who can not afford to take a free internship but are still qualified and passionate about the industry are left out of the mix. Thanks for your opinion.

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  3. Good point Hayley.
    I meant to say this in my first comment...
    Given the nature of how what constitutes an "internship" has changed, I think companies should give some kind of compensation for at least travel. Many students need to give up a summer job to make room for the internship. I used to work 5 days a week at a golf course for money but now I only have time to work two. Most weeks I work 7 days a week now between internship and work work.
    The least they could do is help ease the expense especially since more and more interns are helping with daily operations and actually doing their bosses work.

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  4. Another major problem is students that do not live in or near major sports markets. If their parents are not loaded then they have little to no opportunity to get experience in the field over the summer. So basically the financially well off families' kids are gobbling up the cream of the crop internships because they can afford them while the ones who have to work regular summer jobs are left in the dust and will struggle to find a job after graduation due to lack of experience.

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    1. Very good point cameron. Thanks for that comment. I agree 100%. It is something that NEEDS to be changed in my opinion and not for me... but for others who do not live in big markets like you eluded to.

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  5. If you work you should get paid! These teams know they can get away with it. I wish laws would be passed to prevent this. Drew take as much free stuff from the sixers to make up for it. Lol

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  6. Nailed it Drew, I find this free labor situation going on with sports internships is quite similar on a smaller scale to the situation with college athletes. The company is benefiting from your work and services while not having to pay you at all simply passing it off as a "learning experience". As long as the sport internship market continues to be so competitive though companies will continue to get away with simply because they can. The internships should at least offer a living wage to interns that allows them to do the internship for a break even cost, not having to basically pay to do the internship out of their own pocket. Paying for gas or parking or an apartment just so you can do the internship is not only annoying, but as you pointed out it also creates a barrier to entry. The worst expense I have find is having to pay for the school credits. Having to pay UMass money to do an unpaid internship somewhere else while also having to pay for living expenses is horrible. Yes it is a "learning experience" and will hopefully pay off later by having it on the resume but right now as a poor college kid its hard to see the fairness in the system. The system needs to be changed and fixed in some way to not make it such a strain on the student.

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    1. Thanks for your feedback Mike. I agree with everything you are saying. The cost to do the internship is something that (in my opinion) needs to be compensated for at a minimum. As I have been saying the cost for the internship disallows many from entering the industry simply because they will not be able to gain the resume filler needed to get into the industry. I would love to see this change soon, not for me but for everyone else who wants a chance to get into the industry.

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