I Guess I Didn’t End Up On The “Sports Agent Blacklist” After All: How I Landed My Dream Internship
Updated: Jul 17, 2019
Let’s be honest, when I first got into this industry I was not confident in myself as an inexperienced female college student. I looked up to agents, coaches, and athletes like gods and this ended up being a terrible mistake. My gender grew to be a bigger issue than I thought with daily experiences of indirect sexism. I felt hopeless. But it turns out, all my weaknesses (age and gender) were actually my greatest strengths. (Who knew?) Here are the four steps I took to land my dream internship this summer.
1. “You just gotta get your foot in the door”
(Literally what everyone told me) The question I constantly found myself asking was after this posed question was: “HOW!?”
I was stuck for a good couple weeks about what this meant. Then I got it. I just needed to think outside the box. If you want something bad enough, you need to get creative and invent new ways of being unique to get their attention. The more creative the idea, the more you want the opportunity. Find your signature.
My signature move was to send cookies with my resume inside of the box. (Cause well, who doesn’t love cookies?) I heard of other aspiring interns that literally sent a shoe to “get their foot in the door.” (Haha, get it - I love a good pun)
Be different. Show them you want this.
Sometimes I get a message that goes a little something like this: “Oh my gosh Alex, this is my dream job! Do you know anyone who could help me?”
If this is your “dream job” you need to act like it is because let’s be honest, this is A LOT of undergraduate’s “dream job.”
Remember in Gilmore Girls how Rory really wanted to work for the Stanford Eagle Gazette and the supervisor continued to tell her that there were no job openings. Rory, being the persistent journalist she is, literally sat in the lobby and waited to talk to him. (Okay maybe I only remember that scene.) And I mean, look how successful she was, she went to Yale and went on to become the Editor and Chief of the Yale Daily News.
Nevertheless, get your foot in the door by being creative and persistent.
2. “B-E A-GG-R-E-SS-I-V-E…Be aggressive.. Be Be… AGGRESSIVE!
Shout out to my West Valley Falcons for this great cheer.
As a female being “too aggressive” is labeled as a bad character trait. Fortunately, because of this stigma, no one is being aggressive. (I smell opportunity!) If YOU are the person who shows a little extra effort, you are already standing out.
I was unsure of this approach until my mentor and NFL agent, Alexa Stabler, told me “Literally get them to block your email…do it.”
Don’t just send one email, I repeat, do not just send one email.
In fact, make the emails short and sweet. Tell them your name and ask them when they have time to talk. The goal is to get them on the phone or have coffee with them. One agent told me, “People like people over the phone, people fall in love in person.”
Again, channel your inner Rory Gilmore.
To land my dream internship I sent five, count em, five emails. When he didn’t respond I sent him cookies, when he didn’t respond I flew to Dallas to attend a conference I knew he was at. (Okay, I know that’s a tad extra.)
People see passion and desire when you show them you really want the job by doing everything you possibly can.
3. One new person a day
This is a rule I adopted the closer I got to being a young professional. Connect, talk to, or email at least one new person a day that is going to help you in your professional journey.
Informational interviews are going to be such a big asset to build your network for a couple of reasons. First, people love to talk about themselves. And two, people love to help. A lot of people remember what it was like to be on the other side of the phone at one point and they will provide you with some great resources and advice.
Those new professionals are going to tell other people about you, remember your face, and help you in the future once you’re already in the business. It is always great to build a network.
Of course, any goal for an informational interview is to get a job however, if that is not possible your goal is to get them to give you one new contact to call or email.
4. Call out the elephant in the room
The last step has been the toughest for me because when it comes down to it I do not have my law degree, masters, or a penis.
There were so many times in the final steps of the hiring process I was automatically ruled out for my age education or gender which of course is something I currently have no control over.
We have all heard this phrase right? What I want to encourage you to do is call out why you are meeting with them. (Of course, wait until they have had sip or two of their coffee…) Simply say something like this: “Based on my qualifications today, what role do you see me playing in your organization?”
Give your conversation a goal of discussing their company, internship opportunities and ways you can get your foot in that door they keep talking about…
So there you have it, the four steps I took to land my dream internship. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of tears, doubt and moments where I wanted to give up all together. But trust me, you can do it. You have the ability to land your dream internship/job and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.