INDIANAPOLIS --- Texas A&M swimmers Kelli Benjamin, Caroline McElhany and Allyson Sweeney were among 200 current student-athletes and NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients with an interest in careers in sports invited to the NCAA Career in Sports Forum June 5-7.
Benjamin is a junior from Gilbert, Ariz., McElhany is a senior from Friendswood, Texas and Sweeney is a senior from Snellville, Ga. Organized and directed by the NCAA Leadership Development department, the Career in Sports Forum was created to provide student-athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on intercollegiate athletics. The forum provides student-athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in sports business and a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
During the forum, participants will hear from keynote speakers and panelists – including former University of Tennessee women’s athletics director emeritus Joan Cronan, Rice University athletics director Joe Karlgaard and WISH-TV Indianapolis sports anchor Anthony Calhoun – and also learn best practices for gaining employment and gathering a better understanding of what future expectations will be once they get a job.
“Supporting NCAA student-athlete leaders with their education is a key goal for the Association,” said Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of membership and student-athlete affairs and chief inclusion officer. “Our Career in Sports Forum puts student-athletes and postgraduate scholarship recipients in a non-traditional academic setting where they can learn directly from successful leaders, which can have a positive impact on their future after graduation.”
The opening day of the forum, participants identify values, recognize their transferable skills and explore the basics of networking. The participants will also be introduced to small group sessions, called Color Teams. Leading the Color Team sessions will be a group of 14 facilitators comprised of athletics administrators and coaches from member institutions that volunteered to undergo facilitator training prior to the forum. In these smaller sessions, the forum participants will learn to identify different working and leadership styles, how to identify the differences in individual styles and how to work with those who have a different approach.
The next days will focus on the structure of and the opportunities to work on college and university campuses and within the NCAA national office, and how they intertwine. In the small group sessions, participants learn about resume building, interviews techniques and the importance of social networking. Additionally, the participants will learn about the role of NCAA affiliate and professional organizations, while a panel of young professionals will detail the first 10 years of working in sports business and the transition necessary.
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports and who were viewed as leaders on their campus were invited to the four-day Career In Sports Forum after their nomination year by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure.
The NCAA Leadership Development department provides professional and personal development for the entire Association, including student-athletes, coaches and administrators, through accessible resources, strategic partnerships and annual customized programming.
To follow the social conversation and the events at the 2014 Career in Sports Forum, search #NCAACSF.