Imagine receiving on-the-job experience at a West Virginia University Big 12 conference football game. Or how about having a working assignment at a WVU Women’s soccer match? Now, an innovative partnership will make it possible for College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences students to gain firsthand learning opportunities through internships with the West Virginia University Athletics department.
As a one-stop shop for your passion in sports, Mountaineer GOAL: Gaining Opportunities in Athletics Leadership Program, provides students with a jump start in the growing sports industry. According to Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal, in 2019 the North American sports industry will increase by nearly 3 percent for the third consecutive year to a record 73 billion U.S. dollars, as reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
This dynamic collaboration with WVU Athletics provides CPASS students the opportunity for an exclusive experience within a Power 5 sports setting, preparing students to launch their career in this influential industry.
“All of our CPASS majors include experiential learning requirements during which students learn-by-doing. The Mountaineer GOAL Program formalizes our long-standing relationship with WVU Athletics, one of the most recognizable and successful brands in intercollegiate sport. This unique partnership provides students with multiple opportunities to gain valuable career-related experience across their plan of study,” said Sean Bulger, CPASS professor and associate dean for graduate and online education.
The Mountaineer GOAL Program is designed specifically for CPASS students to help them stand out among future potential employers in the sports industry. CPASS students may now apply for internships that are available for this fall semester and beyond.
Students may participate in virtual learning sessions, hosted by WVU Athletics department representatives, to discover opportunities and calls for applications. Possible internship placements include event planning, communications, marketing, facilities management, internal and external affairs along with research and analytics.
This distinctive program creates a seamless pathway, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the sports industry through pre-internships, for-credit internship opportunities and graduate assistantships.
“For students aspiring to work in intercollegiate athletics or professional sports, a degree alone is often not enough. The experience gained through internships provides the vital on-the-job skill sets necessary for students to land their first jobs. We are excited to partner with the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences to allow students to serve as athletics department interns while at the same time completing their undergraduate degrees,” said Zach Eckert, WVU assistant athletics director, facilities and operations, Sport Management BS (2008) and Sport Management master’s degree (2009).
Students can use pre-internships as a valuable learning option to build a professional network while exploring a wide range of assignments and events. Pre-internships serve as a building block for gaining experience, networking for future placements and to establish important alumni contacts. Assignments may include working short-term events such as conference championships and other special sporting contests.
At the next level, for-credit internships provide expanded opportunities (unpaid) while offering a more immersive professional field placement. Internship assignments present students with semester-long projects while featuring a more focused experience. Internships are available to students across all majors within CPASS, as they move through their plans of study.
At the final pathway level, graduate assistants earning internship assignments will work an average of 20 hours per week in paid positions along with receiving a stipend and University tuition waiver. Graduate assistants will work independently, while developing lasting relationships with professionals within WVU Athletics, helping to broaden their professional network.
CPASS students will use the Mountaineer GOAL Program application portal to view a list of available internships and apply for those that are of most interest. Virtual information sessions will guide students through the application process, provide possible assignment details and offer tips for success.
Contact Lindsay Augustine, CPASS director of enrollment management, to learn more about majors at CPASS.