CCACSA Hosts ?The Pursuit? For Student Athletes
BATON ROUGE, La. – There are more than 460,000 collegiate athletes that compete in the NCAA, but only a few of them from each sport go on to compete at the professional or Olympic level. Therefore, it is important that these student-athletes develop a plan about the career they would like to pursue once their days as a collegiate athlete come to an end.
On Wednesday, March 30, LSU student-athletes from all sports came together to attend a career symposium called ‘The Pursuit.’ At ‘The Pursuit,’ student-athletes were given the opportunity to interact and network with professionals in their field of interest, enhance their interpersonal skills, and establish potential career contacts.
The event took place in the women’s basketball practice gym and started with a panel discussion that consisted of four company representatives. These representatives explained to the student-athletes why it is important for them to start building their network now so that they can have the career they want when they graduate. The representatives also explained to the students why they are interested in recruiting student-athletes.
After the panel discussion came to a close, recruiters from multiple companies came to the student-athletes to engage in a more personal conversation about what exactly their company has to offer. The students were divided up by tables, and the recruiters took turns moving from table to table, talking to many different student-athletes. Many of the student-athletes were grateful for the opportunity to network with these recruiters.
“I thought the event was good. It was good for people that are juniors and seniors and are getting ready to go in the workforce,” LSU baseball pitcher Jesse Stallings said. “It’s good to have these opportunities to talk to employers because it gives us a better foundation before we get into the workforce, and a lot of these student-athletes are going to be in the workforce unless they go professional in their sport. So, this is an opportunity for student-athletes to talk to potential employers and gain knowledge.”
Knowledge was not the only thing that the students received, some of the student-athletes received good contacts that they believe could lead to potential jobs.
“I really enjoyed the event. There were a lot of people here that I was interested in talking to,” LSU softball player Bailey Landry said. “I was able to make a few contacts, and definitely meet some people that I will be following up with.”
While the focus of the event was on the student-athletes, many recruiters also seemed to benefit from the event. Some of the recruiters referred to the event as one of the largest turnouts that they have seen.
“I’ve been to this type of event with LSU for many years and this has been the largest turnout, so it’s very exciting,” East Baton Rouge Parish School System recruitment manager Daphne Donaldson said. “I enjoy the roundtables because I was able to talk to numerous student-athletes about their career paths and what they are looking forward to in the future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to recruit some of them, which I think we will, into the teaching profession.”
More recruiters mentioned they too enjoyed the setup of the event, in particular, the roundtables.
“I think the event was amazing. I love the setup, and what I appreciate the most was the open forum. Letting us rotate to different tables so we did not have to be so redundant,” the program associate for Playworks Louisiana, Edward Carter said. “The student-athletes are wonderful, and I think it is a five-star event.”
The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a 54,000 square foot facility comprised of an academic affairs, student affairs and an information technology team, serving more than 530 student-athletes. The purpose is to provide an all-inclusive, student-centered support structure for all student-athletes from matriculation, through graduation and life beyond.