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How Do I Get an Internship with an NFL Team?

For some college students, the ultimate goal of their studies is to land a highly competitive NFL internship before they graduate. The big question that most students have is simple: How is this done? The National Football League is run much like a major corporation, with year-round opportunities for both interns and full-time hires in positions that range from sports management to finance and marketing, but these opportunities are considered highly competitive. An organization of this scale, with this kind of reputation, receives tens of thousands of applications a year for only a few hundred student placements. To break through the crowd and land a position amid this type of competition, students need to make sure they follow a few simple steps and guidelines.

First and Foremost, Focus on Good Grades

Football internships with the nation’s largest professional league are highly competitive, which means students need to distinguish themselves from the pack by at least having top-notch grades. This requires a commitment from students that begins during their very first semester, since it’s much easier to maintain a high GPA than it is to “rescue” a GPA from subpar grades in a few classes. Students who maintain a high GPA throughout their core courses and major requirements will also likely be inducted into an honor society pertaining to their major, which will add a bit of extra emphasis to their strong scholastic performance. This, in turn, grants them access to a larger network within the National Football League in advance of being considered for an open position.

Pursue Leadership Opportunities Before Submitting an Application

The selection committee that will separate potential interns from rejected applicants wants to see that those applicants have had other leadership experiences. In a way, these past leadership experiences serve as “job experience” for a job that will expect students to take the lead in applying their classroom skills to real-world problems within the organization. The National Football League generally looks for experience leading on-campus organizations like academic groups, interest groups, Greek organizations, and honor societies. Part-time employment, either during the summer or while attending classes, is also a great way to demonstrate work ethic and a commitment to taking leadership roles, and should be noted on the resume submitted as part of the application.

Cover the Finer Points: Major, Application, Professional Qualifications

The National Football League is a major business, which means that students with all kinds of majors can apply for an internship and land a coveted spot in the organization during the fall, spring, or summer terms. In order to do so, students should choose a major with the highest degree of relevance to the organization: business management, sports management, accounting, finance, sports administration, marketing, physical therapy, sports therapy, or human resources. While other majors will be considered relevant for a few positions, the majors listed here offer the largest number of opportunities with the organization.

Students should make sure to note the application deadline for each term. They should file the formal application along with all supplemental materials, including their college transcripts, professional resume, letter of interest, and a combination of professional and academic recommendations. Upon receipt of a complete application, students will be considered for a position and informed of a decision within a few weeks. By following these steps and recommendations, an NFL internship is within reach for today’s most elite and committed students.

Related Resource: How Can I Get a Job in the NFL with a Sports Management Degree?