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Michael A. Odio

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Michael Odio and Shannon Kerwin

The senior internship is a critical developmental experience for sport management students transitioning into their careers. Despite the internship’s role as a career development tool, previous research has suggested that the experience may deter students from continuing to pursue a career in the sports industry (Cunningham, Sagas, Dixon, Turner, & Kent, 2005). The present study uses decision-making theory and a longitudinal approach to improve on previous efforts to examine changes in students’ affective commitment to the vocation and intent to pursue a career in the vocation as a result of the internship experience. Results of the structural model show that challenge, supervisor support, and role conflict significantly influence students’ career decision making.

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Michael Odio, Michael Sagas and Shannon Kerwin

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.

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Michael A. Odio, Patty Raube Keller and Dana Drew Shaw

As internships are typically off-campus experiences with minimal supervision from educators, the legal role and responsibilities of educators in protecting and responding to such issues are not always clear, especially pertaining to the application of Title IX. Given the growing prevalence of internships in sport management, a historically male-dominated industry, the issue of sexual harassment is particularly important for this discipline. Through this article, the authors seek to provide the knowledge and perspective of 3 subject-matter experts speaking to legal and practical considerations regarding the design and implementation of sport management internships. Their collective perspective offers insights on following the law and preparing students for potentially hostile environments.