Internships - Great Practical Experience
Internships are a key component to a successful Sport Management program. In recent years, Viterbo students have garnered very desirable positions in the sport industry. For example, three interns have worked with the United States Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs and two others with the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Many interns will work with local schools, companies, non-profits, and municipal organizations. Opportunities exist for interns with local sport teams, municipalities, sport camps, corporate events, golf courses, sport manufacturing and marketing companies, sport tour companies, ski resorts, and companies planning sport events.
One recent Viterbo student, Lindsey Mizak, tells about her internship with the United States Olympic Committee:
Viterbo University and The Dahl School of Business helped prepare me to successfully complete an internship with the United States Olympic Committee. I worked in the Partnership Marketing department during summer 2008. There I was able to use my interpersonal, communication, problem solving, and critically thinking skills acquired from my professors and classes to confidently complete a variety of projects with different leads.
My major responsibilities included providing active event support and logistics during the Jr. Olympic Skills in Chicago, researching companies for future sponsorships/partnerships, developing an Executive Briefing for USOC marketing staff used during the USA Gymnastics, USA Track & and Field, and USA Swimming Trials, and managing websites for USA Soccer, USA Badminton, USA Equestrian, USA Basketball, USA Baseball during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. My internship provided a great opportunity to meet elite athletes and to develop many business contacts worldwide. I am grateful to the Dahl School of Business and my professors because their knowledge, experience, and direction helped me accomplish one of the best opportunities of my life. This internship is a huge stepping stone for my career and future in sports marketing.
Another recent student, Matt Tanke, turned his internship into a job with the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. Matt is currently a Client Development Executive with the Timberwolves and in charge of retention and growth of season ticket holders. Matt states:
Much of my job includes sales, customer service and networking. I have been in my current roll since October of 2007, after being promoted from a Sales Executive with the team. The Dahl School of Business helped better prepare me for success in the sport industry by giving me the confidence in my interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills. I learned to lead by example and step up to challenges. The Dahl School of Business provided me with an environment for active learning with experienced faculty. Best of luck to the Dahl School of Business! If you ever want to bring the Sport Management Program up to hear first hand from our Team President, etc. let me know and I'll facilitate the scheduling, and hopefully get the students to a game afterward!
Another recent graduate, Patrick Graham, landed a job after his internship working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, CO. Patrick writes:
I work in a department called Olympic University which is a very small division, and a branch of Human Resources. We carry out corporate training for internal and external audiences. Most of our external programs relate to leadership training. Whether it is "Leveraging Strengths" or "Emotional Intelligence," the part that is so unique about OU is that we use Olympic Sports during training. For instance a few weeks ago we had executives from Johnson & Johnson, Inc. come to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for the program "Leveraging Strengths." After some classroom instruction the executives worked with the USA Judo Coach, as well as Olympic athletes to teach them the sport of Judo. After partaking in Judo for a few hours, we bring them back to the classroom and relate the sport of Judo to leveraging strengths in the workplace. It is a very engaging and rewarding experience for all.
My personal work has included facilitating a few programs and conducting research regarding future program endeavors. I want to stress the importance and how grateful I am to the professors at Viterbo; not only for their personal recommendations, but also for pointing me in the direction of this job in the first place. To me, an essential part of a college career includes building relationships with your professors if for this reason alone. In some cases, the letter of recommendation holds a high priority to potential employers and could be the difference between having a job you really like and having a job that you settled for.