Many sports management majors have big dreams of working with the most successful franchises. However, before you can get your dream job, you need to get some real world experience. This can start before you graduate with the right volunteer opportunities. Here are five great ways to volunteer as a sports management major.
1. School Team
Your school team is the most obvious place to look. Many positions at school programs are designed for student volunteers, which can be a real asset to aspiring sports management majors. The key is to be flexible. Few of the opportunities are going to seem exciting at first. You may work security, concessions or in the ticket booth. This ground-level support is at the heart of any successful sports program, and it can show you all facets of sports management. Even working as the school mascot can give you better insight into the behind-the-scenes world of sporting events.
2. Local Sports Teams
Your school teams are a great place to get volunteer experience, but there are probably lots of other students who are interested in those jobs as well. Dedicated students interested in sports management should also look to other local teams. Some students may be close enough to professional teams, but even smaller teams can be a great place to learn. The minor leagues still need good workers, but they often cannot afford to pay for help. This is why they can offer some of the best volunteer opportunities around.
3. Parks and Recreation Departments
Sports management is not just about the big name teams. It can also be used as a civic service. Your local parks and recreation department is operated by the city, offering a whole host of sporting opportunities for people of all ages. From pools to baseball fields, a parks and recreation department is responsible for a lot of services and facilities. Although it may not be glamorous, volunteering here can give you a wider range of experiences that can really help you get ahead of your peers.
4. Kids’ Athletics
Countless kids participate in sports programs. Kids play soccer, baseball, volleyball, football and more. While this is an excellent way to keep kids healthy and active, it is also an ideal place for a sports management major to get volunteer credit. Many programs are in desperate need of coaches, referees or umpires in order to keep the system running smoothly. This nitty-gritty involvement can provide a unique experience that is educational and rewarding. After all, if you can learn to manage a bunch of kids on a field, then you can probably handle professional demands in an office later.
5. Special Events
While most of these opportunities have ongoing needs, there are also special sporting events that are worth remembering. Maybe your city is hosting a marathon. Perhaps a tournament is being played nearby. Even the Super Bowl needs volunteers to make things work. These special events take extra planning and organization, which is why they can be so educational for sports management majors. However, these events also take a lot more forethought and effort. If you want to be a part of a big event, you have to plan well in advance in order to secure your place. Super Bowl volunteers sometimes have to apply two years in advance to get on board.
No matter what you may prefer to help with, volunteer experience is a critical part of moving ahead in this competitive field. With a little planning and a lot of dedication, you can use these volunteer experiences to make your career dreams come true.