Internships are generally available only to currently enrolled college students. Most TV & Radio stations won’t even allow you to work for free if you’re not getting college credits. Due to National Fair Labor Laws and previous lawsuits against broadcasting companies, internships are reserved for a select few.
Strengths of Internships
- Able to make insider contacts
- Opportunity to prove yourself to decision makers
- Exposure to many facets of broadcasting (e.g., on-air, production, promotions)
- Some may be paid positions (rare)
Weaknesses of Internships
- College students only: If you’re not currently enrolled in college, you generally CAN’T do an internship.
- Highly competitive: You’re one of 10-20 other interns at a given station hoping to be hired for whatever jobs open during your limited stay.
- Lack of specific job training: You won’t be trained for any specific on-air job in broadcasting, as most interns are really just exchanging free labor for college credits.
- Few personal references: You’ll have difficulty developing personal references, since you’re rarely working one-on-one with anyone, or learning specific on-air job skills. Most broadcasters won’t hazard a recommendation on someone’s skills they can’t personally vouch for.
You’ve heard the saying; “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know.”
Broadcasting is one industry in which having already established contacts inside the business gives you a major advantage. On the other hand, not having insider contacts creates a major disadvantage for you – in spite of the fact you may have good broadcasting skills.
By design, broadcasting schools aren’t structured to create these insider contacts, whereas SMG’s apprenticeships are specifically designed to develop these all-important relationships.
Upon completion of training, broadcasting school students are usually scrambling and looking for ways to get their foot in the door and make job contacts. Conversely, SMG’s apprenticeship students are looking to leverage their already-established relationships into sportscasting jobs.
Broadcasting Schools’ Strengths
- They do a fine job of teaching broadcasting skills
- Easy to get admitted (if you have the money)
- Multiple financing options (if you qualify)
Broadcasting Schools’ Weaknesses
- Hard to create industry contacts
- Only available in certain cities (usually large cities)
- Inflexible training schedules (set class times and semesters)
- Costly (Generally run between $9,000-$14,000)
- Difficult to transition into real radio or television broadcasting
- Competitive (usually 15-30 classmates seeking the same jobs as you)
SMG Apprenticeship Strengths
- Hybrid of broadcasting schools and internships
- Available to people of all ages
- Training conducted in real radio stations by real sportscasters
- Mentors (teachers) are local sports broadcasters
- Hands-on learning
- Learn at your own pace (one-on-one training)
- Easier to make industry contacts (from day one)
- Huge job placement advantage (you’re already in the station … with contacts)
- Can work against students if they don’t take training seriously
- Only offered in the U.S. and Canada
- Finite mentor pool in each market (harder to get accepted)
The bottom line comparison … apprenticeships START you on the inside of the business, while broadcasting schools start you on the outside, leaving it to you to figure out how to become known by those doing the hiring.
Some of the best advice we all likely received when younger was to “let others speak highly of you, but don’t brag about yourself.” Given that, we’ll let our Better Business Bureau rating speak for us.
To the best of our knowledge, though, SMG is the only all sports broadcasting school available. Other mentorship programs typically offer a chapter of their curriculum on sportscasting as a part of their overall training.
SMG offers all sports broadcasting, all of the time, by developing studio hosting, play-by-play, and anchoring skills in every student..
Through SMG, you’ll actually be hosting your own show or calling games, while the other programs will just teach you about the need to acquire those necessary skills.
SMG is also the only program available that will instruct you on how to secure the broadcasting rights to local sporting events. In essence, we’ll guide you through the process of creating your own revenue-producing sportscasting job, while gaining valuable broadcasting experience at the same time.
Lastly, SMG’s job placement services are second to none. Our students benefit from the increased exposure provided by having their demo tapes and resumes listed, FREE of charge, on three different sportscasting job boards. Simply put, by increasing your exposure and visibility, we make it easier for program directors that are hiring to find you when job openings occur.
Equally important to cost is the value and quality of services that SMG offers over any other broadcasting school or apprenticeship program. Given that, SMG’s sports broadcasting apprenticeships are still $4,000-$8,000 less expensive than the average broadcasting school.
Since no other mentor-apprentice program offers all sports broadcasting, a cost comparison is pointless. SMG can afford to charge less than the others because you’re not paying for the cost of operating a facility, or paying the salary and health benefits for a large faculty.