The Influence of the Internship on Students’ Career Decision Making

in Sport Management Education Journal
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  • 1 University of Houston
  • | 2 University of Florida
  • | 3 Brock University
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The internship experience is generally recognized for its educational and career-related benefits (Gault, Leach, & Duey, 2010); however, scholars are beginning to question the merit and expected benefits of undergraduate internships in sport management (King, 2009; Schneider & Stier, 2006). Further research has found evidence that the internship experience may negatively influence students’ intent to enter the profession (Cunningham, Sagas, Dixon, Kent, & Turner, 2005). The current study uses a longitudinal approach and qualitative analysis to examine the influence of the internship on students’ career-related decision making. Findings show that the internship plays a major role in shaping students’ career trajectory; however, many students come away more confused about their career path than before their internship. Further findings reveal issues related to intern supervision and the type of learning opportunities available to students.

Michael Odio is with Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, Sugar Land, Texas, USA. Michael Sagas is with Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA. Shannon Kerwin is with Sport Management, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. Address author correspondence to Michael Odio at

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