Internships are crucial in many sport management students’ paths to the sport industry. This mixed-methods case study sought to understand the nature of events occurring in sport management internships and the impact on two outcomes: student career decision making and subjective well-being. Pre–post internship surveys (n = 23) and follow-up interviews (n = 21) identified stimulus events, if intern expectations were met, and if career intentions or subjective well-being were shifted. For participants, stimulus events involved different aspects of the internship (e.g., tasks, supervisor, social interactions, inclusivity, and the environment), and the perceptions of outcomes related to internships varied. In line with image theory, participants followed four impact pathways, with the focus on stimulus events influencing career intentions and then well-being as a result, or conversely well-being then career intentions. The findings have important theoretical and practical implications for both sport management educators and organizational supervisors that can help ensure mutually beneficial experiences for all parties involved.
McClean is with the Centre for Sport Capacity, and Kerwin, the Dept. of Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. Odio is with Sport Administration, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.