Rethinking the Sport Management Internship


  • Michael Odio University of Cincinnati
  • Brian Menaker Texas A&M University - Kingsville



engaged learning, internship, motivatoin, career development, experiential learning


Internships are widespread and usually a mandatory component of the student experience, but the focus on the employment experience may overshadow the educational function of experiential learning. This article argues for a shift in perspectives and priorities for career development in sport management curricula. While internships were originally seen as an effective means of preparing students for the sports industry, concerns over issues related to access and pedagogy have created an urgency to review practices across the discipline. The primary argument highlights an imbalance in the discourse surrounding professional and educational foci of sport management internships, changes in the understanding of careers since the adoption of internships in sport management, and design features that can be at odds with student development and motivation. Finally, we propose a more holistic approach and make recommendations for how rethinking internships can improve issues of equity, access, and student development.

Author Biographies

Michael Odio, University of Cincinnati

Michael Odio, PhD, is an associate professor of sport administration in the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati. His research interests include organizational behavior and human resource issues in sport as well as career and learning outcomes for nonstandard employees (e.g., temporary, seasonal, part-time) and internships.

Brian Menaker, Texas A&M University - Kingsville

Brian Menaker, PhD, is an associate professor, Kinesiology graduate program coordinator, and interim associate chair in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University – Kingsville. His research interests include law enforcement policy and planning at sporting events, the effects of sporting events on community and public health, and the relationship between sport and deviance.


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