Sport management majors at the university are finding that getting internships is much harder for students in a smaller major.
Sophomore Mike Tampellini, a sport management major, said he spent a lot of time finding an internship on his own because there were very few specific to his major on the Blue Hen Careers website.
He also said because his major is so new, the university has a limited amount of contacts.
“I feel like sports management is left out towards the side,” Tampellini said. “It’s tough to get an internship in sports management because it’s so competitive. Who doesn’t want to work for the Yankees? Who doesn’t want to work for the Phillies?”
Senior Samantha Santucci, a sport management and marketing major, felt similarly. She said that because sports teams have plenty of applicants, they do not need to recruit from universities.
She said she thinks the university should also contact minor league teams for any available opportunities for students.
“I would suggest that they reach out to employers, because ultimately, we want internships too and I know that we’re relatively new in the business college but I don’t think we are accepted that much,” Santucci said.
Matthew Brink, director of the Career Services Center said that last year more than 2,000 employers posted opportunities on Blue Hen Careers website. Those employers reviewed over 22,000 applications.
“Students at UD intern like crazy,” Brink said.
He suggested that students who are looking to find an internship should make an appointment with a liaison in the career center. Their liaison is familiar with the major as well as corresponding employers.
Each counselor is in charge of specific majors so they get an idea of what general trends students are making in their choices for internships, Brink said.
He said the process of setting up a meeting with a liaison begins on the career services website, where students can see a list of all the counselors available and their schedules.
“It’s worth spending a little time in there because it’s set up to deliver hundreds and hundreds of internships,” Brink said.
Timothy DeSchriver, an associate professor in sports management, said obtaining an internship is all about networking and connections. The competitiveness of sports management, according to DeSchriver, is just the “nature of the industry.”
He said the sports management department helps students get internships by sending them an email to see who is interested. After he gets responses, he then requires those students to meet with him once a month.
In these meetings, DeSchriver said he will go over students’ resumes and find out their most important preferences such as the location, type and area of the internship.
He said the department does the same things that Career Services does but within the major, and since last spring, he said every student who looked for an internship found one.
Brink said the students and the Career Services Center hold the responsibility of acquiring internships equally. The job of the university is to assist students in writing strong resumes, provide access to internship postings and reach out to employers on behalf of colleges and academic programs.
On the other hand, he said it is the student’s responsibility to put in the energy, time and work to secure an internship.
He believes every student should set a goal to have at least two internship experiences before their senior year. According to Brink, this increases the student’s level of marketability among employers.
“Two is like a tipping point,” he said. “If you have less than two, you’re competing with other students not only from UD but from other schools that the employers posts or recruit.”
Brink said it is sometimes difficult to find available internships, especially recently with the current economic recession.
Often, the first things employers start to cut during a recession are non-profit centers that have to pay people for internships depending on the employer. He said even when they are unpaid internships, they still have to dedicate staff time to engaging interns in that experience.
Brink explained that when the number of internships decreases, the competitiveness to get them increases. After students hear about how challenging it is, they don’t put in as much effort because the competition is so tough, he said.
Some majors in particular have more of a direct relationship between their major and a career field, according to Brink.
“Engineers become engineers, [an] accounting [major] becomes an accountant,” he said. “A history major can be a historian, but can do other things related to their career path.”
Brink said those majors have a much wider field of internships that are available and there tends to be enough opportunities posted to satisfy most students’ interests.
Junior Tim Sumereau, a sports management major, also said he wished the university had more sports management connections at the Career Center and more network opportunities.
“I feel like if you have sixteen thousand students, who cares about 150 or 200 of them?” Sumereau said.
As far as smaller majors, Brink said there is always room for improvement in the Career Center and they have a list of things they are currently working on to make it better.