So, you really should be plowing through that pile of internship applications, but Andre Johnson is on an inhuman rampage and you’re one Jets interception away from winning your fantasy matchup. It’s cool; we won’t judge. On Sunday (or Monday or Thursday), taking your next career step might not seem like the most exciting prospect on the table. But even if you’re a huge sports fan, it very well could be.
Maybe you knew already that NFL teams offer internship programs geared towards college students and recent grads. But what you might not know is just how diverse the offerings are.
Right now, for example, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking for 12 interns for Spring 2011 in every track from marketing to PR to graphic design to IT (that’s right, sports geeks). Will you be drawing up nickel packages for Raheem Morris? Doubtful. Will you be able to address your mail to One Buccaneer Place? Most definitely. And they might even let you in the pirate ship.
In fact, interning for an NFL team typically involves a lot of exciting duties. For example, the Bucs’ community relations intern gets to assist the team on Draft Day in April, and the special events and operations intern helps coordinate team travel and ship the team out for away games. For some more insight into what interning for an NFL team can do for your career, we talked to Nick DeMonte, an ’08 Marquette alum who currently works as the marketing and events coordinator at Arlington Park Raceway in Arlington Heights,Ill., about his experience interning for the Chicago Bears.
Hey Nick, thanks for talking with Internships.com today. Tell us a little about the Bears gig?
“I started as a training camp intern, so it was from mid-July to first week of August. I was an advertising and events intern. I did anything from setting up tent tables in VIP hospitality’s sponsorship tents to manning the kids area stations where the kids would run drills. Then [the interns would] trade off days where we’d sell tickets for Family Night and we’d also take turns selling Bank of America branded credit cards. We stayed at Olivet Nazarene [the Bears’ training camp] for those five weeks … We had our own separate dorms [from the players].’
Did you get to interact with any of the players and coaches?
“We ate lunch with them every day, it was pretty sweet. Steak, salad, chicken, stir fry — everything. You had access to the gym on campus and any of the resources that any of the players had on campus. Then, after camp, there were two main bars that the players would go to. You’d show up there and on the porch were [Brian] Urlacher and Alex Brown playing bags. It was pretty surreal.’
What did you take away from the experience?
“Well, from there they offered me a game day internship position, which I then did for three seasons. There were probably 25 training camp interns and they wound those down to 10 game day intern positions. We would show up on game days at like 5:30 in the morning if there was going to be a noon game, and there was a lot of setup with regards to sponsorship and general marketing. We’d set up the Weber Ultimate Tailgate on the giant lawn in front of Gate Zero at Soldier Field — it had vendors from the Score radio station, Jewel-Osco, Chase Bank, etc. … then when they’d do in-game promotions, like where they pick a fan out of the crowd, we’d arrange how they’d film that promotion.’
What was the coolest thing you got to do as a game day intern?
“I ran flags out the tunnel on to the field. Whenever they scored a touchdown or a field goal, you’d run out to the 20 [yard line].’
“Yeah. It was awesome.’
What about the S.W.A.G.? Did you get to keep any Bears stuff?
“They furnished us with jackets, hats, scarves, all that. I probably have 6-7 windbreakers and heavy coats.’
Do you think it’s helped your career?
“I’d definitely say so, especially in the industry I work in now … This was the one job where I was actually ingrained in the experience of in-game promotion. You need that experience if you want to get work in sports or live event marketing. And I learned how to handle myself as a professional. You can’t always get starstruck [when you run into players] — you’re part of that company. It was definitely a shining spot on my resume when I went to get a full-time job.’
Well, there you have it. If you think NFL or sports team interning sounds like a fun way to bolster your resume, click here to go directly to our 12 Tampa Bay Bucs internships.