On Monday, April 3, Sacramento State student-athletes had the opportunity to connect with local employers and attend professional development workshops at the annual Student-Athlete Career Night held in the Athletics Center.
Over 100 student-athletes spent the evening rotating through an open networking segment, a former student-athlete panel discussing post-sport transitions, a How-to Interview workshop presented by Athletes to Careers, and a LinkedIn workshop presented by the Sacramento State Career Center.
The event gathered 25 companies and professionals from the Sacramento community. In addition to Sacramento State Athletics' partners, Northwestern Mutual, Enterprise and Federated Insurance, professionals from New York Life, Target, UniFirst and Pacific Medical were also present. Career fields represented included Police, Fire, K-12 Education, Real Estate, Counseling, Speech Pathology, Physical Therapy (KIME Performance PT) and Sports organizations. Student-athletes interacted and connected with these professionals on their companies, positions and gathered advice on their career development journey.
Along with the current Hornet student-athletes in attendance, former student-athletes returned to campus to share their post-sport transitions via the Former Student-Athlete Panel. Heath Prichard, of New York Life and a Hornet Football Alumnus, provided current student-athletes with peer advice on the going professional journey, not only in Football but in his career.
"It was an honor to get to participate in the recent Sacramento State Athletes Career Fair," Prichard said. "Coming back to campus and talking about my journey from being a Hornet athlete into my management role with New York Life was humbling. Sharing my experiences being an athlete and how those experiences on campus contributed to all my successes now in my career definitely brought back some great memories. I think it is essential for current students to be more in-tuned with life after graduation and what unique opportunities are out in the real world."
Student-athletes took advantage of the program, in networking with professionals and learning tips on Interviewing and LinkedIn. Senior Rowing student-athlete, Migle Griskelyte shared her feedback on the evening; "I thought the event was a huge success. I really appreciated how we were not only exposed to networking with potential employers, but also received tips on how to succeed in the interviewing process and upgrade our resumés and LinkedIn profiles. I think student-athletes could really benefit from more of these career nights, especially being able to meet with people that do care for athletes and their successes after graduation."
Athletics department staff and the Student-Athlete Resource Center helped to organize the event with the goal to help prepare student-athletes for their careers off the field.
"This event is designed to expose student-athletes to what comes after competing in collegiate athletics," Student Development & Academic Success Coordinator Bethany Crouch said. "There is no doubt that employers look to hire student-athletes due to their work ethic and drive to better themselves. However, it's necessary to educate our student-athletes on business etiquette from resumés to interviewing. We look to support our student-athletes as they approach transitions beyond Sacramento State."
In addition to these events, resources for student-athletes can be found here.