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3-day virtual Emerging Leaders Seminar kicks off

Over 300 grad assistants and interns participating in programming

More than 300 graduate assistants and interns from NCAA member institutions, conference offices and affiliate organizations will gather electronically starting today for the 2021 Emerging Leaders Seminar, receiving educational programming to advance their careers in college athletics.

The three-day virtual program will educate, develop and connect young professionals with the skills necessary to accelerate their career progression in college sports. Participants walk away with valuable insight into college athletics, a more in-depth understanding of self-awareness and core values, and an expansive network of peers and industry leaders to continue to lean upon throughout their professional journey. Through this exposure, participants will return to their current roles with skills and knowledge that will help them succeed in the next steps of their career.

“We are thrilled to offer our Emerging Leaders Seminar in the virtual space, as we recognize the absolute necessity in providing interns and graduate assistants with developmental programming during these continued difficult circumstances,” said Lamarr Pottinger, associate director of NCAA leadership development.

The seminar sessions include navigating a job search in college sports; identifying purpose and the pursuit of passion in the workplace; building the skills of crucial conversations and emotional intelligence; leadership up, down and across; and prioritizing self-care within the college sports industry. The participants also will have opportunities to engage in breakout sessions based on functional areas of interest, networking with professionals within their field. Seminar speakers will include directors of athletics, conference commissioners, NCAA staff members, head coaches and experienced administrators from a diverse representation of the campus membership.

Select attendees will have the opportunity to collaborate on a realistic case study culminating in a presentation to college sports administrators from the NCAA national office and the membership. The case study will provide participants with a vital experiential learning opportunity to connect with one another and navigate the on-campus planning and decision-making processes.

“Our goal with ELS is to prepare participants for the acquisition of and transition into full-time, permanent roles in college sports. Throughout the use of our engaging virtual platform, participants will obtain a greater understanding of the inner workings of collegiate athletics and the NCAA landscape, understand how to network with peers and influential individuals in the industry, and gain relevant knowledge to grow and apply to their current positions,” Pottinger said.

The participant pool represents a diverse collection of membership personnel, including graduate assistants and interns from schools from all three divisions, a number of conference offices and various affiliate organizations. Attendees’ interests span many college sports industry specialties, including compliance, student-athlete development, marketing and fan engagement. Although the seminar typically allows 200 attendees to travel to NCAA headquarters, the virtual platform allows for an expanded participant list.

The interactive digital environment will guide participants to valuable professional development resources. Included in the available resources is the first Emerging Leaders Seminar “Emerging Discussions” podcast, where senior athletics administrators across nine functional areas share their guidance and advice for young professionals. Engaging educational videos by leading experts in personal branding and managing across generations are also available.

“We have sought to create a virtual space that provides active learning for our 300-plus participants, mimicking the transformational programming experience and cohort connection they would feel taking part in our in-person offerings,” Pottinger said.

The Emerging Leaders Seminar is just one of the many programs the NCAA leadership development office offers to develop student-athletes, athletics administrators and coaches while cultivating an inclusive community. Visit the leadership development page on ncaa.org to learn more.