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Student-athletes coached on pitching their skills to employers

Through a series of workshops designed in partnership with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 20 Towson student-athletes learned to communicate how their athletics experience has prepared them for the workplace. Towson University photo

Towson athletics partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the Towson Career Center this spring to develop a program designed to help 20 female student-athletes gain a competitive advantage in the professional world after graduation.

Enterprise talent acquisition manager Elizabeth Hardesty, who recruits students from colleges in the Baltimore area, helped run the workshop, called “MVP to CEO: Student-Athlete Career Success.” And while Enterprise has long recognized — and touted its interest in — the skills student-athletes develop, Hardesty still sees athletes who struggle to communicate the value of those skills in the workplace.

The Towson workshop helped the students develop behavioral skills that help employers see value in athletics experience. Hardesty offered the student-athletes these tips:

The experience section on your resume isn’t limited to a job. You can refer to your experiences playing your sport or leadership opportunities on your team. Enterprise is just one company that values persuasive ability and leadership. Show those skills through your sport.

You can develop your interview skills even if you can’t work internships or jobs into your schedule while in school. Develop a 30-second elevator speech on what you bring to a job, and practice it. If you can’t do it with a friend, record it on your phone, listen to yourself and revise.

Get your resume ready while you’re still in school. Because of their busy schedules, Hardesty says athletes tend to be focused on the moment instead of the big picture. Don’t wait. Polish your resume before getting into the job market, so you’re ready to go after the position you want.

Athletes are great salespeople. They just often don’t recognize it, Hardesty says. But they do that job all the time. How often do athletes greet recruits on official visits and work to persuade them to come to their school over another university? “That’s sales,” Hardesty says. “You’re selling yourself, your program.”

Don’t be afraid to brag about your athletics accomplishments. Often, Hardesty says, athletes aren’t the first ones to bring up their athletics experience in an interview. But they should. Don’t be afraid to brag a little, Hardesty says. Go ahead and tell the story about the injury you overcame. Real stories that show resilience and leadership will be noticed.

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.