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Super Bowl LVIII leads to super internships

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A priority for the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee between now and Super Bowl 58 on February 11, 2024 is to use the global influence of the event to a positive economic impact on the community that will last long after the game is played. One such innovative way to achieve that goal is unfolding at UNLV.

Thanks to a trifecta of $100 thousand donations by the Host Committee, the United Way of Southern Nevada and the NFL, a total of 45 paid internships are being offered to UNLV students giving them the rare opportunity to gain hands-on experience working toward the success of a major sports event in the entertainment capitol of the world.

“To be involved in the biggest sporting event in the United States is so special,” said Solomon Escalante, one of the first interns selected in the program. The graduate student, studying inter-collegiate and professional sports management says this paid internship is a huge opportunity for himself and his fellow interns.

“It’s been so good for each of our careers to get the chance to meet industry experts in Las Vegas and to communicate with small business owners and large business owners, and understand how the moving pieces within the sports industry come together.”

Jay Vickers, the CEO of UNLV Sports Innovation says Super Bowls have long utilized interns in different ways, but Super Bowl 58 will be different. “What’s unique about this opportunity is this is the first time we've had fully paid internships throughout the entire process,” Vickers said.

UNLV has long produced top notch talent for the Las Vegas entertainment and hospitality landscape, but Vickers sees new employment potential for UNLV graduates as sports takes a more dominant role as an economic engine driving more visitors into Southern Nevada.

“Now that we have this sports renaissance,” Vickers said. “We have to prepare our students for the new workforce which is evolving sports, whether it's at Allegiant Stadium, working for the Aces, the Golden Knights, the Raiders, or any other team that may magically appear here.”

Julian High, the president and CEO of the United Way of Southern Nevada, believes the Super Bowl paid internship program will fulfill an objective of the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee by allowing 45 UNLV students to create their own business opportunities for years to come.

“Those students will be able to take that experience and go anywhere in the world and use that for their own good and for the good of this community,” said High. “Because all of those interns are somehow connected to us here in Las Vegas.”

Jay Vickers says more groups of 15 Super Bowl interns will be selected in the coming months. Interested students should monitor UNLV’s Handshake data base for the application to drop.

“To date, we've filled ten spots,” Vickers said. “We just hired six more for the spring. What we want to do is rotate as many students as possible each semester. That way we give more students the opportunity to have this experience.”

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“The next round of students we'll be looking at is upcoming this summer. That'll be 15, and we'll hire another 15 in the fall,” Vickers added. “This past spring we had 90 applicants apply for 6 positions, so it's very competitive.”

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