Photograph by Victor Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
By Keenan Mayo
Attention college students: LeBron James is hiring.
On Tuesday morning the official website of the Miami Heat star announced it was looking for interns, “students who have an interest in online content development and digital sports marketing.” Among other duties, the gig involves “assisting the content development team with updating LeBronJames.com” and “researching trends and advancements in the technology & sports space.”
To learn more about what such a position might entail, Bloomberg Businessweek reviewed the “LeBronJames.com Internship Program” with Ryan Kahn, founder of the Hired Group and star in the MTV reality show Hired. His expert observations:
The essay is a good sign.
The position calls for a writing sample that addresses why the applicant is “The perfect person for the internship.” Instead of maximum word count, though, it specifies a 500-word minimum. “This means they’re not looking to get their inbox flooded with fans who want to hang out with LeBron James,” says Kahn. “Remember when Charlie Sheen posted to Twitter that he was looking for an intern and got, like, 75,000 applicants? Also, it means that it’s a real position, which should be encouraging to applicants. They want a skilled writer, probably a blogger for the site, and they want to find someone who can communicate at a high level.”
It’s probably not a paying gig.
Nowhere in the listing is there any mention of compensation. “I think we can assume it’s unpaid,” says Kahn. “Usually when it’s a paid internship, they’ll mention it, because it’s usually a very big draw.” Before you get outraged—James-the-multimillionaire is squeezing free work out of kids—know that the arrangement isn’t unusual. “Just like all the entertainment jobs: They’re so coveted that people are willing to do whatever it takes,” says Kahn. “It’s like someone who might work for a celebrity’s website or social media. A lot of celebrities aren’t the ones constantly tweeting, as they have interns helping run all of that interaction.”
It’s a big commitment.
According to the site, the internship program “runs through the spring, summer, and fall semesters,” and candidates need to be available at least 10 hours a week. “That’s a three-semester commitment, which is really long,” says Kahn. “I think it’s great that it’s 10 hours a week—which is a reasonable expectation for a college student—though it’s a bit long at three semesters at 10 hours a week.”
It might be worth it.
Regardless, Kahn says it’s a plum gig. “This is the business of entertainment. You’d be working behind his brand. This is an office position. It’s going to be data input, blog posts, following up with people on social media. It’s going to be a job, and one that will really build someone’s career.” For the record, the deadline is June 4. Slackers need not apply.