The University of West Georgia Sport Management program (SPMG) is designed to serve
society by developing responsible leaders for the world of sport business. The program
Action-oriented curriculum in which the students learn by practicing and performing the tasks they will be expected to do in their professional positions.
Student-centered teaching that is the product of the faculty's commitment to the holistic development of students.
Market-driven instruction that is cutting-edge and ensures that the knowledge bases, skills, and competencies in the curriculum are those that are demanded by industry employers.
Mutually beneficial partnerships with sport properties that are developed to further solidify the bond between industry and the university.
The Sport Management program is an academically rigorous program geared to develop leaders for today's sport industry. Graduates of the program are prepared to compete for entry-level managerial positions in intercollegiate athletics, professional sport organizations, governing agencies, golf course administration, health and fitness, and sport marketing firms among others. The faculty is committed to the advancement of knowledge and practice in the sport industry through the creation and delivery of relevant educational programs, conducting and disseminating research, and working collaboratively with industry organizations.
Sport Management Internships
Recognizing that the internship is a key initial step in beginning a career in the highly competitive sport industry, this manual has been developed to address procedures for the internship experience. It is through the internship that students make the transition from student to professional while honing their skills and building their network. The successful internship will benefit the student, the site, and the University. The purpose of the Sport Management Internship Manual is to provide information to students, faculty, and sites regarding the sport management internship program at the University of West Georgia. In addition, it is intended to supplement the information given in the SPMG 4584 Pre-Internship Seminar in Sport Management course.
In accordance with COSMA Guidelines, the internship is designed to be a full time, professional experience. This experience is designed to assist students in applying theory learned in the classroom to real-life situations. The internship allows students to transition from student to professional, gain further experience in an extremely competitive industry, confirm career choices, and develop their network for the purposes of future employment and professional development.
The internship takes place at the conclusion of the academic program so that sites can assume students have internalized the concepts, principles, and theories learned in their classes and are prepared to apply these to real-world situations. In addition, should an intern be offered a full-time position with the site, he/she will have completed all coursework and is prepared to begin employment upon graduation (Cuneen & Sidwell, 2003).
Because interns have made a full-time commitment to the site, they need to evaluate their continued involvement in extra-curricular activities and outside work in order to be fully committed to their internship experience (Cuneen & Sidwell, 2003).
- SPMG 4584 Pre-Internship Seminar in Sport Management
Students should take SPMG 4584 Pre-Internship Seminar in Sport Management in the semester preceding the internship. Prior to the start of this class, a degree audit should be conducted to confirm that the student will complete all course work prior to the student's internship semester.
- SPMG 4584 Course Description
This course is designed to prepare the student to make the transition from student to professional in Sport Management. Topics for discussion will include the following: internship selection, application materials, interviewing skills, job search, salary negotiation, and other professional issues. Mentoring during the internship search process will be provided.
- SPMG 4686 Internship in Sport Management
In order to intern, the student must have completed all professional courses (professional content, related content, and approved electives).
- SPMG 4686 Course Description
Field experiences yield the necessity of receiving direction, undertaking responsibility, and demonstrating competence by applying theory learned from course work. The internship allows students to complete a partial fulfillment in their degree program and will help them discover career options and confirm career choices.
Students are responsible for securing their own internship sites. This can be a stressful process, but it helps acclimate students to the rigors of the job search. Students must locate appropriate internship experiences, submit application materials, interview with the site, and accept an internship offered by an approved site. This is typically done while enrolled in SPMG 4584 Pre-Internship Seminar with support and guidance from the instructor for the course. When selecting an internship site, students should keep in mind their professional goals, the experiences available during the internship, and the professional development opportunities the internship offers.
All sites must be approved by the Sport Management faculty before a student will be allowed to accept his/her internship for course credit. The approval process is two pronged: 1) the site must be appropriate, and 2) the activities must be appropriate. Both criteria must be met in order for a site to be approved. For a site to be approved, it must be a sport property or have significant involvement in sport and its related activities (e.g., sponsorships, etc.). Internship activities must be correlative to the UWG Sport Management curriculum and COSMA guidelines. Further, students need to make sure that the experience will provide the minimum hours required.
Steps to Site Approval
- Make initial contact with the site (phone call, email, respond to a posted position).
- Interview with the site and discuss the opportunities for internships.
- Complete the Application for Internship Approval Form.
- Submit signed form to SPMG 4584 instructor; the instructor will evaluate the site and the activities to determine whether the placement will provide the student with an appropriate experience.
- Once the form is signed by the SPMG 4584 instructor, it is approved. Students should allow one week for a site to be approved/rejected.
- Once the Application for Internship Approval Form is signed, the internship site is approved.
- In order to confirm the internship, the student must complete the Agency Acceptance Form and submit it to the SPMG 4584 instructor. This form binds the student to that site for the internship, and, therefore, it should not be completed until the student is sure he/she wants to complete his/her internship with that particular site.
- The SPMG 4584 instructor will provide copies of these forms to the student for his/her records. Once the Application for Internship Approval and the Agency Acceptance Forms are complete, the site is confirmed and the student is committed to that internship site.
- After confirming an internship, students must stop soliciting other internship opportunities. Approval to commit to a different site will only be granted in extenuating circumstances (i.e. the internship is no longer offered or no longer meets program requirements). Continued solicitation is unethical and unprofessional and reflects negatively on the student, the Program, the College, and the University.
During the internship semester, students will be registered for SPMG 4686 Internship in Sport Management (12 credit hours). Students will earn a letter grade reflecting their performance in this course based on the academic assignments and site supervisor evaluations. It is imperative for students to understand that they are earning academic credit in addition to professional experience. Thus, there are assignments that must be completed in order for a grade to be assigned (Sample Syllabus). In order to graduate, students must complete the internship with a grade of C or better and meet all other requirements, including minimum GPA.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many hours are required for internships?
- Summer internships require 400 hours over 10 weeks
- Fall/Spring internships require 520 hours over 16 weeks
Will I get paid for the internship?
- That is up to you and the internship site. If you limit yourself only to paid internships, you many not find the best experience. You have to examine your situation, and determine what you are able to manage financially. As you have heard repeatedly in your classes, most internships are not paid. Most internships are unpaid because the student is earning academic credit. You will be registered as a full-time student during your internship and may be eligible to receive financial aid.
What would be the best way to go about getting an interview? How do I go about starting contact with a possible internship site? What websites are best for finding internships?
- You can contact the site directly and inquire about internships. You need go to their website and find someone in human resources or in the area you are interested in and contact that person by email or phone. You can write a short email just introducing yourself, telling where you are in your program, and asking what internships might be available during the semester you want to do your internship.
- Before you begin making initial contact, you need to make sure that your application materials are ready to be sent. Once the site responds back to you, they will ask for your materials. You want to have them ready so that you can return them quickly to the site.
- Websites: Governing agencies (NCAA, etc.), Leagues (NFL, etc.), Individual teams, Individual facilities, Individual organizations (golf courses, parks & recreation centers, YMCAs, etc.), Professional Organizations (COSIDA, WBCA, etc.), The Women's Sports Foundation,http://www.teamworkonline.com/, http://www.workinsports.com/,http://www.womensportsjobs.com/, http://www.nacda.org/.
What are the limits on choosing an internship? What kinds of jobs/internships will and will not count for credit?
- Internships must be completed with an approved sport property. Further, the activities must be reflective of the UWG Sport Management curriculum and COSMA guidelines. Internships with non-sport companies will not be approved unless you can demonstrate that you will be spending your time working with sport related issues, e.g., Lowe's and their sport sponsorship division in Charlotte, NC. Please consult with the internship instructor before applying for internships with non-sport businesses.
What is the right timeline for securing an internship?
- No one can prescribe a timeline for securing the internship. Some students will diligently pursue internship opportunities for the entire semester only to have it confirmed a week before the end of the pre-internship semester. Other students will be able to squeeze the search process into a couple of weeks It is recommended that you start as early as possible to allow time to receive a decision from the agency.
- Start early—begin looking now at possible sites and initiating contact, look at a wide range of opportunities-You may not realize that you really like something until you really investigate it. Conversely, you may think that you are very well suited for a particular position only to realize that it is not really what you thought it was going to be.
- Be ready to accept the consequences of your parameters/limitations: if you choose to stay on campus to complete your internship rather than go somewhere else for whatever reason, you may miss out on possible experiences you might have had elsewhere. You need to be VERY INTENTIONAL about this decision. Your internship should springboard your career. You will be building the foundation of your network in the sport industry. Build a strong foundation.
- Evaluate whether you would like to intern with a team or sport that will be in its off-season. Internships with out-of-season teams can provide beneficial experiences, however, the student will not have the opportunity to participate in "game-days."
- Be prepared to make some short-term sacrifices for long-term rewards.
- Summer is the most competitive time for internships because everyone is seeking summer internships. Get started!
What is the best way to maximize my chances of getting the best internship possible?
- Part of this has already taken place-if you have worked hard and performed well in your classes, gotten involved by volunteering and attending events (speaker series, conferences, etc.), then you have already laid a strong foundation.
- Begin the process early, be intentional about your decision-making process.
- Assemble strong materials: cover letter, resume, references.
- Research the organizations you are interested in to prepare strong materials.
- Keep up-to-date with what is going on in sport and what is happening in sport industry. Read industry publications such as Sports Business Journal, NCAA News, or other relevant publications for your area of interest.
- Prepare for your interviews: make sure you have a proper business attire, research the organization/person/people you will be interviewing with, review potential interview questions, prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
- Ask your professors and utilize campus resources such as the Career Center.
What if there are no internships available [or I am unable to find an internship that I am pleased with] during the time I plan to complete my internship?
Under the guidance of the Sport Management faculty, it is your responsibility to secure your internship. Therefore, if you are unable to secure an internship during the time you plan to complete your internship, your graduation will be postponed until you are able to find and complete a suitable internship.
- SPMG 4584 Pre-Internship Seminar in Sport Management
Sport Management Admissions Requirements
The B.S. with a major in Sport Management consists of two phases, the sport management and the professional content phases. The sport management phase consists of introductory courses and the basic University Core Curriculum. The professional content phase consists of advanced coursework specific to the field of sport management.
A soon as a student thinks he/she is interested in declaring Sport Management as a major, it is strongly recommended that he/she schedules an advising appointment. To find the Sport Management advisor based on your last name, click www.westga.edu/coeadvisement/index_466.php
To be accepted into the professional content phase, students must meet the requirements as noted below.
- Student must complete all of the Area A-E requirements prior to taking courses from the professional content area. Transfer students who lack up to two courses in Areas A-E may take specified courses concurrently during their first semester of enrollment at UWG.
- Student must complete at least 15 of the 18 hours required in Area F prior to taking professional content courses. This includes SPMG 2600, Introduction to Sport Management, that must be passed with a grade of C or better.
- Student must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 before taking any professional content courses.
Once a student has met the requirements for admission, the advisor will change their status from pre-major to Sport Management. At this time the student may select a university approved minor and should receive separate advising in the respective department.
Sport Management Appeals
While competitive academic standards have been established for admission and matriculation, the faculty do realize that there can be events in students' lives that hinder their ability to live up to their academic potential. The Sport Management appeals process provides students who do not meet the admissions criteria an opportunity to document significant circumstances that have negatively impacted their academic performance. Students should note that this is not an opportunity to appeal the admissions standards. Rather, the process is an opportunity for students to make the case that their prior academic performance, due to extenuating circumstances, is not indicative of their true potential. Further, the process allows the student to demonstrate that, if given the opportunity, they will be able to meet the standards soon after being granted admission into the program. Appeals will also be considered if a student has not fulfilled all of the admission requirements due to an extenuating circumstance.
General Guidelines for Appeals
It is the student's responsibility to initiate the appeals process. This must be done by filing the Sport Management Appeals Form along with the supporting documentation required per the Appeals Form.
Appeals applications must be delivered to an active faculty member in the Sport Management program. The nature of the appeal will be discussed with the student's academic advisor. The faculty member will present the appeal packet, information from the academic advisor, and any other pertinent details to the program faculty at the regularly scheduled program meeting. The faculty panel will deliberate and decide by majority vote whether the appeal will be granted or denied. The student will receive written notification from the faculty member to whom the appeal was submitted regarding the decision. The academic advisor and department chair will be notified accordingly and take action as necessary.
Appeals Application Recommendations
As noted earlier, the sport industry is extremely competitive to enter and the Sport Management program has an academically rigorous curriculum. Therefore, it is in the best interest of industry constituents, the academic program, and the students that the faculty be selective in the admissions process and in their consideration of appeals of admissions decisions. Below are some recommendations to guide students through the preparation of the appeals materials. Each case will be judged on its own merits and following these recommendations in no way guarantees that a student will be admitted to the Sport Management program.
- Recognize that admission to Sport Management is a privilege and not a right.
- The rationale for the student's deficient academic performance should be substantial and evidence should be presented that demonstrates the steps taken by the student to overcome the challenges faced.
- The Sport Management faculty is going to take a comprehensive look at your complete academic record. It is highly recommended that the student take courses in a proposed minor or other career-supporting courses and demonstrate to the faculty that he/she is capable of high-level academic performance before applying for an admissions appeal.
- The tone of the student's appeals materials should demonstrate that the student accepts responsibility for his/her past performance. Also, the student should remember that the admissions standards are not appealable.
- The student should have a record that demonstrates that he/she is truly interested in Sport Management and is not merely seeking a degree. Volunteering at sporting events, membership and activity in the Sport Management Society and working with sport organizations are ways in which a student can help substantiate his/her interest.
- The student must convince the faculty that he/she has the ability to meet the 2.50 overall GPA requirement soon after being admitted to the program if his/her appeal is successful.
- The student should not be under any investigation or penalty related to aberrant behavior as a student at the University (e.g., Honor Code violations, etc.) at the time of the appeal.
Successful Appeals [These will also be included on any letters of successful appeals]
- Students who have been admitted without the minimum overall GPA of 2.50 must maintain a minimum semester GPA of 2.50 in all subsequent semesters. Students who fail to meet this minimum semester GPA standard will be dismissed from the program and will not be allowed to reapply for admission until they achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.50. All students must have a minimum overall GPA requirement of 2.50 in order to register for SPMG 4686 Internship in Sport Management. This includes students admitted with an overall GPA below 2.50.
- All students must have a minimum overall GPA requirement of 2.50 in order to graduate. This includes students admitted with an overall GPA below 2.50.