The culminating experience of the Master’s Degree in Sport Management is the successful completion of:
- a 300-hour (paid or unpaid) internship in an established work environment,
- completion of a written consulting report for your site, and
- an oral examination in front of the faculty in Sport Management based on your organizational analysis.
Students may not intern until after they have completed at least 15 hours of required sport management courses. In order to enroll for the internship, students must be in good academic standing, and have no grades of incomplete. They must also have the approval of their faculty advisor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education, who will be their internship supervisor.
Students are responsible for locating their own internship site and must make an appointment with their advisor at least 6 weeks prior to the internship semester to discuss options and get faculty approval. The student should bring to this meeting several options for discussion. Students must determine if their site already has an existing approved site agreement and program agreement with UT-Austin. If not, then site and program agreements must be completed in addition to the contract.
Once the details are worked out with a sponsoring agency and an on-site supervisor is identified, the student, in conjunction with his or her site supervisor, will complete the standard sport management program contract to be approved by the faculty advisor that must be signed by all three parties (intern, on-site supervisor, and faculty advisor) before the internship begins. It must be understood that both the faculty advisor and the on-site supervisor have the authority to terminate the internship experience at any time if the intern fails to complete written requirements or fails to meet behavioral or effort expectations. The written requirements must be typed and of the highest professional quality with special attention given to content, format, and style.
A. Internship Evaluations
Internship supervisors will complete a midterm and final evaluation. Evaluations must be sent via email attachment (PDF) or by US Mail directly to the student’s faculty advisor. The student may not hand deliver.
B. Written Consulting Report
Your consulting report will have two parts. The report will answer the questions provided below in detail with reference to sport management theories and concepts. In order to provide a sufficient level of explanation and demonstrate understanding, students are encouraged to interview employees across their internship site. Responses to these questions should integrate specific course content from the sport management program and should also include academic references, using appropriate APA formatting. This will be submitted no less than 5 days before your oral defense to your supervisor who will then share with all core faculty before your oral presentation.
- Is your pricing appropriate for the product/service offered by your organization? Identify any untapped sources of revenue available to your organization (note: think of this broadly -- it can include revenues from services provided, as well as sponsorships, grants, donations, etc.). If your agency provides free services—discuss the costs involved in providing those free services.
- What are the biggest risk management challenges for your organization? How does your organization manage these risks?
- What forms of promotion does your organization use? How effective are these promotions? Of the current promotions, what activities would you recommend your organization stop doing? What promotional activity would you recommend your organization add?
- The members/customers/patrons of your organization presumably have a variety of choices for the goods and/or services that you provide. Who are your competitors? Where does your organization rank among the organizations that offer a similar product? (This can be based on your observation and can be general, e.g., industry leader, newly established, growing). Note: every organization has competitors, so the response that you have no competitors is not acceptable.
- How would you describe your internship site's organizational culture? What specific strategies have you used to learn about and adapt to the culture?
- In order to be successful, an organization needs to have a unique value proposition (i.e., something unique that makes your organization's customers choose the goods/services you provide). What is your organization's unique value proposition?
- You should separately upload your internship site's organizational chart. What are the benefits of your organization's chosen structure? What are its limitations? Why do you think your internship site is structured in the way that it is?
Based on the analysis in Part 1, you will identify a significant challenge currently facing the organization. You will fully explain why the problem you have identified is important and worthy of attention. This must include specific ways that the problem negatively impacts the organization and symptoms of the problem that affect organizational effectiveness. Then, you will provide a solution that addresses the problem and an implementation plan. This implementation plan will include the identification of all necessary resources, stakeholders who must be involved, and timeline for implementation. To conclude, you should discuss why you expect the proposed plan to be successful and any barriers to implementation.
C. Culminating Oral Defense of Consulting Report
This Oral Examination is designed to demonstrate the student’s analytic skills, communication skills, professional readiness, and mastery of the field of sport management. On the designated day, dressed in appropriate business attire, you will meet with core sport management faculty to answer questions posed by the faculty related to your consulting report. All aspects of the consulting report are “fair game” for questions, although most questions will center on the problem and solution you proposed in Part II above. There will be no prepared remarks from the student.
Grading: (Please note that Plus/Minus Grading Will Be Used for This Course)
A) Internship Experience (50%) – Based on professionalism in setting up internship, quality of monthly reports, and internship evaluations from site supervisor.
B) Written consulting report (30%) – Graded by faculty pairs. This report should also include a memorandum explaining what competencies they learned.
C) Oral Presentation to Faculty (20%) – All faculty present will grade the student’s performance.