The NFL announced today that it will be laying off about 150 employees. The same has happened with other major sports leagues and various other sports companies. Having been through a job layoff in the last seven months myself, that's not a pleasant experience, even if, as in my case, you're expecting it to happen. That being said, let's look at this from the side of those of you who are still students. There is the potential that this could be something of a good thing for a lot of you pursuing internships. How? Why? I can tell you from experience that when a sports organization is short on staff, they utilize interns even more! I've previously written about the experience I was able to get at Disney Sports because we were so short-staffed when we opened in comparison to the number of people they have now.
These layoffs don't mean that leagues/companies will necessarily be taking more interns. (Although they might. The $500-$1,500/month is definitely cheaper than the cost of an employee and her benefits.) What it does mean is that they are going to have a lot of overworked staff who may gladly allow interns to now work on loftier projects so that they can get some of the additional work off their desk and get that work completed. The keys to interns being successful in gaining this additional experience will be if the interns are capable, hard working, and take the initiative to ask, "Is there anything I can help with or take off your plate?"
If you're fortunate enough to get an internship this year, take advantage of all the work that may be available. Be a sponge. Come in early, stay late, work weekends, help staff in departments where you don't technically even work. The experience you will gain will be invaluable even though, with this economy, the internship won't likely turn into a full-time job with that organization. Happy internship hunting!