How vital is an internship? It is extremely important, especially with the goal of graduating with a sport marketing and management degree. Working in sport is a challenge and to be successful in the industry getting a valuable internship is a must. That is the reason why I applied for many internships this past summer. Fortunately, I was able to be accepted into a few organizations and had the opportunity to choose. It was a good learning experience for me to have the ability to talk to a couple of organization so that I could feel out which position would best fit my capabilities. I felt it was extremely important to join an organization that would fit my work style and am glad I was able to find one.
The internship I ultimately choose was a logistics position with the Western and Southern Open in Mason, Ohio and what an experience it was. The Western and Southern Open is the third largest tennis tournament held in the United States every year where all the top men and women players are invited. Working at such a large event gave me valuable experience with working in sport and it helped me gain an understanding of what it takes to work in the industry. As a logistics intern I was tasked with logging and storing all incoming supplies that came into the tournament. The supplies ranged from food to merchandise to sponsor giveaways. My main task was to make sure everyone got their products during the tournament and help sponsors, vendors, or retailers with anything they may need. This allowed me a fantastic opportunity to connect with many different people, which was a crucial part of having this internship. It was my goal to meet and connect with as many people in the industry as possible. I met this goal as I was fortunate enough to work with many different high level sponsors. As the logistics intern, I gave sponsors their products that they shipped to the tournament, which allowed me the opportunity to network with them. These connections I made were as important as the internship itself.
As a sport marketing and management major it is crucial to make as many connections as you can and to network whenever you have the opportunity to do so. Internships are a great way to meet people as it is extremely difficult to get a job in sports, therefore you must make it a priority to network with working professionals in the field. I am grateful that not only was I able to gain valuable experience but that I also made a tremendous amount of connections. The experience and knowledge I gained from the Western and Southern Open was invaluable and I will look back at this internship as the moment I was able to start my career.
Born and raised in Southern California, Neil is currently a Senior at Indiana University studying Sport Marketing and Management with minors in Business, Marketing, and Finance. During his free time, Neil enjoys spending time in the outdoors, traveling, and attending sporting events.