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After the Game networking events bring former student-athletes together

ORCA leadership co-founder Colleen Healy, a former UConn women’s basketball player, addresses former college athletes at the NCAA after the game networking event in Tampa, Florida. The program continues to host events around the country. Evert Nelson / NCAA photos

With roughly 4 million former NCAA student-athletes around the world working in industries as varied as health care, engineering and finance, helping them find one another and build career connections is a big task.

Last August, the NCAA After the Game program launched a series of networking events for former student-athletes, designed to help them create professional relationships. Attendees wear name tags that identify them not only by school and sport but also by profession, allowing them to seek others who share their interests.

“There’s an instant bond when they meet each other: ‘You played sports, I played sports,’” says Monica Miller, who manages the After the Game program at the NCAA national office. “It might not be the same sport or the same school or athletics conference, but there’s an instant connection, and an organic dialogue begins.”

In the first year, After the Game hosted networking events in Indianapolis, Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, Denver and Tampa, Florida, where the reception took place at Amalie Arena in conjunction with events surrounding the Women’s Final Four. The cities selected for upcoming events are New York, San Francisco and Raleigh, North Carolina, plus New Orleans, where a former student-athlete networking event will take place as part of the 2020 Women’s Final Four festivities.

After the Game promotes the events through its LinkedIn group, contacting member schools in regions where events will take place and inviting prospective attendees to share the event on their own social media channels. Altogether, more than 100 member schools have been represented at the networking events.

About the Program

NCAA After the Game helps former college athletes build community and create connections that help them network and grow in their careers. In addition to a LinkedIn group, a career assessment tool and a career center with job opportunities aimed at former college athletes, the program sponsors networking events in select cities. Find details about upcoming After the Game events and advice for former student-athletes transitioning to life after sports at ncaa.org/student-athletes/former-student-athlete.

About Champion

Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.

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