May 30 2012
Maximizing your internship program for your intern and your department
Article courtesy of ASAP Sports
, CoSIDA's Official Instant Transcript Provider. ASAP provides
(real-time transcripts) and Fastscripts
(full transcripts) throughout the year for sessions from CoSIDA's continuing education series for membership real-time and on-demand use
Here they are -- your new athletic communications interns or student assistants -- smart, knowledgeable and eager. Now comes the challenge: how can you, as your school's athletic or sports information director, give your interns and students the best learning experience you can, while getting the most from them for your own department's needs?
Of course, the primary goal of any internship program is to give the intern practical experience to reference when entering the working world. Any contacts, any learning experience, any knowledge or skills an internship program can provide will help that intern in a full-time position.
But some schools go a step further to ensure their interns get the most from their internship stints. Explains Bernadette Cafarelli, Assistant Athletics Director/Media Relations at Notre Dame
, "We consider it an obligation to give our interns the experience they need to land their first job, and – just as important -- to make sure that first job is the right fit for that intern." Toward that end, Notre Dame interns work at many different tasks, all designed to be a learning experience.
To provide management experience, the school also recently implemented a rotation plan for its two-intern program, so that when one intern leaves after a two-year stint, the second stays on for another year and becomes mentor for a new intern coming on the next year. This aids in developing management skills, Cafarelli explains, adding that Notre Dame's last intern now works at the Ivy League Conference.
Joni Lehmann of the Big 12 Conference
agrees that an internship program should be a learning experience. "The Big 12 places high importance on its communications intern positions. The appointees are challenged with handling all of the daily communications responsibilities, including social media, for their assigned sports," she explains.
Specifically, Lehmann points to the Big 12 Report, a weekly magazine-style show available exclusively on Big12Sports.com
, with which its interns are integrally involved. Other duties include assisting with Football and Basketball Media Days, as well as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's & Women's Basketball Championships, and the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship.
Adding that the Big 12 is also a frequent host of NCAA men's and women's basketball championships preliminary rounds, Lehmann explains that this provides additional experience for interns.
"The goal is for each intern to complete his/her appointment with the experience, knowledge and tools to obtain and be successful in a full-time position," she explained.
Blayne Beal, Sports Information Director at Texas Tech
, agrees, noting that TTU's internship program is key to the success of its sports operation.
"With 17 sports and numerous events on a daily basis, a qualified internship program is vital to our success,” he says. “We utilize interns primarily in game day operations and we use them to help provide feature content for our website.“
Beal notes that TTU’s athletic office has had great success placing interns into full-time jobs after their time there, “because we were able to give them experience in event management and help improve their writing and multimedia skills,” he points out.
Since the primary goal is to provide interns with a solid, well-rounded learning experience, it might not be in the interns’ best interest to relegate them to such tedious work as typing up transcripts, points out University of Iowa SID Steve Roe
"By using an outside transcript service that’s instant and reliable, we are able to post transcripts on our website immediately and make the transcripts available immediately to the media, without having our full-time and student staff spend a large portion of time typing up quotes following events and press conferences,” explains Roe, who uses ASAP Sports for Iowa's transcript needs. “Inter
ns can then spend their time in a more useful manner assisting the media. Utilizing ASAP Sports allows our full-time and intern staff to concentrate on other areas of our operation, while knowing we will have complete, professionally compiled transcripts available immediately following our events."
"Typing up quotes is only a good experience if that intern plans to become a typist," notes Jeri Gargano, Vice President of ASAP Sports
, which produces instant transcripts and posts them onto its website, asapsports.com. “Learning to run an effective press conference and interacting with media is a much better use of their time than typing up quotes.”
, a corporate sponsor of CoSIDA, can be reached at 212.385.0297 or via email at email@example.com