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How Can I Get a Job in the NHL with a Sports Management Degree?

Landing an NHL job is an intensely competitive process, and one that students should start preparing for well in advance of submitting their actual resume. While the National Hockey League represents one of the largest and most successful professional sports organizations in the United States and Canada, it also represents one of the most competitive employers for entry-level sports management graduates. Dozens of new positions are listed every year for entry-level applicants, but thousands of resumes are received for each opening. In order to maximize their chances of making it through each round of the hiring process, students need to work on a few things as they make their way toward graduation.

1. Excellent Grades

The National Hockey League evaluates entry-level candidates and recent graduates on the basis of both their professional experience and their level of academic achievement. In the minds of those doing the hiring, a commitment to academics indicates an applicant who is serious not only about achievement, but also about learning the core responsibilities of working within a professional sports association. For this reason, students will want to target a GPA well above a 3.5. This indicates a B+ or A- major at a minimum. For maximum chances at making it through at least the first round of the hiring process, most students will want to shoot for as close to a 4.0 GPA as they can achieve.

2. Relevant Professional Experiences

While there are some entry-level jobs at the National Hockey League every year, these jobs still want students to have some type of professional experience in sports management or general business management. It is this requirement that should make all students get in touch with their school’s internship office or career advising staff. Most sports administration programs are housed within a university’s business school, so it might also be a good idea to work with business school administrators when arranging relevant internships. Another good idea is for students to spend time outside of internships at a sports-related, part-time job. Whether it’s taking tickets, helping with facilities needs, or some other hourly occupation, it shows a commitment to the industry that is essential for entry-level resumes.

3. Find an Internship with the National Hockey League

Like most professional sports leagues, the National Hockey League has rotating internships all year long. Summer, spring, and fall internships give students the opportunity to build a professional network that is within the organization they wish to work for in a professional capacity. This network may be invaluable when seeking entry-level opportunities, and it may even lead to some extra consideration for successful interns who can boast about their knowledge of the league’s inner workings on their official resume. This experience also gives students the opportunity to ask for letters of recommendation from senior officials and managers already employed by the largest organizing body for professional hockey.

Three Great Ways to Maximize the Chance of Getting Hired

When it comes to working for the National Hockey League, students need to make sure that they’re covering all of the most important aspects of their formal application. This means blending academic success with professional experience through internships and part-time jobs, professional recommendations and much more. By creating a comprehensive application that shows real interest in sports management, hockey, and the world of professional sports, graduates of a great sports management program will make it just a bit easier on themselves when pursuing an entry-level NHL job.