Professional Sports Internships Prove Valuable for Any Career

June 9, 2014

Grace Hazelwood ’15, at her internship with Major League Baseball

Grace Hazelwood ’15 had just finished compiling the daily roundup of news stories for Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and her mouse was hovering over the send button as she watched the clock on her computer.

The report, called the Daily Clips, was her responsibility during an internship at league headquarters in midtown Manhattan, and protocol called for it to be sent to Selig at 11 a.m. sharp – the kind of precision you might expect from an organization that tracks statistics to the third decimal place.  So, every day at Grace’s desk on the 31st floor of the Park Avenue office, you’d hear the same sound at the appointed hour: “click.”

From managing affairs in the front office to helping cover the game, Stonehill students regularly attain internships that have them working in some of the most successful sports organizations in the world. And while such internships are dream opportunities for fans of the game, Stonehill students have consistently found that the value of the experience goes far beyond a front-row view of action on and off the field.

Grace says she loved everything about her MLB internship: the research involved in tracking down stories for the list, the responsibility of determining the order of importance, and the thrill of hitting her deadlines.

“This opportunity threw me into a high-energy and successful industry where I learned a lot,” she says. “(It) helped boost my confidence working in a tough but fun environment.”

On-Campus Opportunities Lay the Groundwork

Tim Culverhouse
Tim Culverhouse ’14, internship at  the New England Sports Network

Heather Heerman, director of the College’s Office of Career Services, says part of the reason Stonehill students are often chosen for such coveted internships is that the defining traits of professional sports are characteristic of life and learning at the College: an emphasis on teamwork, thorough preparation, and excellence.

“Stonehill students understand that landing a sports internship is not easy, as they are some of the most competitive placements to secure,” Heerman says. “Ultimately, they are selected to intern because they demonstrate how Stonehill has helped them obtain the skills and values that the sports industry seeks.”

Tim Culverhouse ’14 says that process began for him the minute he stepped on campus. He was in his first year at Stonehill when he began broadcasting play-by-play for Skyhawk games at WSHL, Stonehill’s student-run radio station, and writing about athletics for The Summit student newspaper. Those experiences and others like them helped him secure an internship writing and editing for the New England Sports Network (NESN).

“Having hands–on experience was a huge advantage,” he says. “Stonehill allowed me to broadcast sports games, write about them, have my own show … pretty much from day one. I think one of the characteristics of this school that attracts people is how many options there are.”

“From living and learning in the heart of London to working at one of the most globally recognized leaders in sports, this Stonehill experience has changed my life.”
 Austin Alfredson ’15, on his ESPN internship in London

Austin Alfredson ’15 is another student who took advantage of those options. He was able to parlay his leadership roles on campus – along with marketing research done as part of a Learning Community – to land two sought-after internships: one doing media relations with the New England Patriots and a second analyzing consumer data with ESPN’s Market Research Department in London.

“From living and learning in the heart of London, to working at one of the most globally recognized leaders in sports, this Stonehill experience has changed my life,” he says.

Benefits Regardless of Career Plans

Peter Sullivan
Peter Sullivan ’13, at his internship with the New England Revolution

For some, sports internships are stepping stones to a career in the industry. This year, Catie Kelly ’14, who interned with Fox 25 Sports, joined the Boston Bruins organization and Matt Tardiff ’14, who interned with the Providence Bruins, is working for the Boston Celtics. But even for those whose future plans will take them in different directions, the skills gained in such positions have great value.

Part of the value of internships in the world of professional sports is that they put students in successful, high-profile organizations where people – both on the field and behind the scenes – are expected to deliver peak performance.

“In a way, my experience with the Revs shaped who I am today as an employee,” says Peter Sullivan ’13, who spent a semester doing marketing for the New England Revolution, the Major League Soccer franchise based at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. “I improved my people skills, and learned a lot about dedication.”

Peter, now a recruiter at Boston-based Insight Global, says it was inspiring to be in a work environment with people who are among the best in their profession. “It was an amazing experience, (one) I’ll never forget.”

Sports organizations where Stonehill students have completed internships include:

  • New England Patriots
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Boston Celtics
  • Boston Bruins
  • New York Islanders
  • Major League Baseball
  • National Football League
  • ESPN
  • New England Sports Network