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Mark Urtel, Sara F. Michaliszyn, and Craig Stiemsma

Internships in higher education are not a new practice. In fact, it is generally noted that the first formal internship program occurred in 1889 at Johns Hopkins Medical School ( Wentz & Ford, 1984 ). Prior to this, medical school faculty were developing ways for medical “apprentices” to acquire

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Molly Hayes Sauder and Michael Mudrick

sport; in some studies, employers have rated it as the most important aspect of a curriculum ( Petersen & Pierce, 2009 ; Stier & Schneider, 2000 ). Similarly, research on the perceptions of sport management graduates found that one form of experiential learning, the internship, was the most relevant

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

Sport management has joined other disciplines in embracing internships as a method of having students connect their classroom knowledge with practical experience ( Eagleman & McNary, 2010 ; Sattler, 2018 ). While evidence supporting the educational and career-related benefits of internships

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Nefertiti A. Walker, Kwame J.A. Agyemang, Marvin Washington, Lauren C. Hindman, and Jeffrey MacCharles

, Hadani et al. ( 2012 ) conducted a study on hiring practices of university academic departments, finding that, although merit-based criteria were relevant, an academic’s network was especially significant to them getting a job. More recently, discussion has centered on unpaid internships (including the

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Jessica L. Kutz, Melissa Bopp, and Lori A. Gravish Hurtack

stated that “half of medically-minded students are taking at least one gap year” ( Gura, 2013 , para. 3). Universities need to embrace this cohort of individuals by exploring ways to better understand what we as educators can deliver in terms of initiatives, internship opportunities, and academic

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Cole McClean, Michael A. Odio, and Shannon Kerwin

Internships in the academic context, alternatively viewed as “supervised work experiences,” allow students an opportunity to apply classroom learning, develop skills, continue building a professional network, and potentially act as an entry point to a chosen industry ( McMahon & Quinn, 1995 ; O

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Liz Sattler and Rebecca Achen

An internship is often considered the culminating experience of students’ academic progress and the link that connects them to their future career in the sport industry. Foster and Dollar ( 2017 ) classified a sport management internship as a full-time work experience to be completed after all

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Melissa Pangelinan, Marc Norcross, Megan MacDonald, Mary Rudisill, Danielle Wadsworth, and James McDonald

Experiential learning via internships, practicums, and research provides undergraduate students with rich opportunities to enhance their knowledge of core concepts in kinesiology. Moreover, these types of experiences increase job-related skills (e.g., leadership development, critical thinking

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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 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.