Matt Williamson’s six tips for improving your career prospects as an intern

by frank-stuart
22MAR

Ever wondered if an internship can really improve your career prospects? ACPE student Matt Williamson is living proof that the more you’re prepared to give, the more you’ll gain. Here are Matt’s top tips for getting work experience and making the most of it.

In 2017, Matt volunteered for 10 days at the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Games in Thailand. This year, he returned as an employee. His experience also led to a paid role at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games as an Associate Producer for the table tennis.

1. Get involved from day one

On the first day of his Bachelor of Sport Business, Matt met the career services team. “I wanted to get involved and meet people right from the start. The careers team can help you with your career direction as well as practical stuff like getting your resume right, or finding internships including the ones that don’t make it to ACPE’s jobs board. My first volunteer role was at an ACPE showcase on campus. It wasn’t a big commitment, but I got a chance to dip my toe in the water.”

2. Try different sports, not just your sport

“Rugby league is my sport – I have played and coached it,” Matt said, “During my study, I wanted to experience other sports to see if I’d like to work in them. So I applied for the ACPE and Sydney Thunder internship [insert link to http://blog.acpe.edu.au/index.php/careers/sydney-thunder-internship-gives-acpe-students-a-sporting-chance/]. I also found volunteer work with the Sydney Kings through ACPE. I’ve loved the hands-on experience and it has led to some awesome opportunities, including work experience at the Bledisloe Cup.”

3. Be ready to work hard

“When you’re on the job, it’s really important you don’t let the team down,” Matt said. “You don’t have to be a superhero but you’ve got to pull your weight and do what you say you’re going to. Show you’ve got some initiative and that you’re willing to take ownership too. In Thailand one afternoon, I met with the coaches and set up the competition for the next day without bothering the Director. He was grateful to find out it was already all sorted.”

4. Adjust your study schedule or load

“ACPE are great at helping you fit your studies around work or sport. If you’ve got a great opportunity, think about how you’re going to balance everything so that you can make the most of it. “My teacher suggested I studied a couple of subjects over summer to make my study load easier during the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

5. Say thank you

“I always send a note to say thank you after I’ve done an internship,” Matt said. “It’s important to stay in touch with people you’ve worked for. The sports industry changes so fast, you’ve got to keep an eye on it. People move around so keep in touch with individual people, not just the organisation you worked for.”

6. Remember the people around you are your network

“You can be so focused on making contacts out in the sports industry that you can forget your ACPE classmates will be working alongside you one day. Or they may already be in the industry and can tell you about whether it’s worth pursuing a particular position,” Matt said.

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