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Career Resources for Student Athletes

While in college you have the opportunity to not only pursue a sport you love but also pursue an education that will help prepare you for your future career. Here are a few things you should consider as you devise your career plan.

Career Game Plan

Here are a few things you should consider as you devise your career plan:

  • What if I’m struggling to decide on a major? In addition to meeting with your academic advisor, we suggest visiting our Major and Career Exploration Center (MACE), taking the Focus 2 Assessment, and meeting with your Career and Internship Specialist to assist you with interpreting the results of your Focus 2 Assessment. Career Assessments are the recommended first step in the major selection and career decision-making process. Explore your interests, skills, values, and preferences and how they relate to choosing a major or career. 
  • How can being a student-athlete provide the skills I need to succeed in my future career? It’s vital that you recognize early how your sport-related skills are related to the world of work. Being an athlete provides opportunities for you to develop leadership, communication, teamwork,  conflict resolution, adaptability, collaboration, and organizational skills. These skills are considered transferable skills and can be transferred from one job to another. We encourage you to meet with your Career and Internship Specialist for assistance in identifying and articulating these skills and experiences on your résumé. Our Résumé and Letters Guide is a great resource to assist you in building your résumé. 
  • What information should I include on my résumé? Athletic experience is best listed in the “experience” section if you didn’t hold a job or summer internship during your time as a student-athlete, otherwise, it belongs in the “activities” section.
    • Include sport, years played, accomplishments, time devoted to training, and academic honors/awards. If you received a full athletic scholarship, you may list it as one of your accomplishments.
    • Use action words to describe the skills you’ve gained from participating in collegiate athletics (leadership skills, teamwork, time management, communication skills, commitment, and etc.). For example:
      • Strong ability to manage time and priorities; balanced varsity athletics and school
      • Teamwork skills developed through varsity sports
      • Excellent leadership and communication skills as a team captain
      • Disciplined and responsible – demonstrated through athletic and academic success
  • What services do our office provide to assist student-athletes? We are happy to announce that we have collaborated with the Georgia Southern Athletics APEX program to provide presentations on résumé building, job and internship search, and more. These presentations take place a few times each semester. There is more information forthcoming, so please be on the lookout for that information. 

Job and Internship Search 

According to the Bureau and Labor Statistics, 85% of jobs are filled through professional networks.  Networking is the process of making connections and building relationships. You can begin building your experience by engaging in internships and job shadowing, as well as, by getting on-the-job training. 

Below are a few search engines you can use to assist you with your job and internship search. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment with your Career and Internship Specialist to discuss your individual career goals and job interests and learn more about strategies you can use to begin building your network. 

  • Handshake – Handshake is a career services management tool designed for GSU students and alumni. With Handshake, you can create a résumé, search for local and national job opportunities, review upcoming career fairs, have your résumé sent to employers and make an appointment to receive more help with your job search.
  • CareerShift – CareerShift helps job seekers successfully navigate the published and hidden job market to find career opportunities. With CareerShift, you can select job listings from all job boards, access in-depth information about contacts and companies posting jobs and include unlimited résumés and cover letters. 
  • NCAA After The Game Career Center – Former NCAA student-athletes can post their résumé, find employment opportunities and get job-seeking advice.
  • Georgia Southern APEX – Georgia Southern Athletics understands the challenges athletes face regarding participation in traditional internship opportunities. APEX (Athletes Preparing for Employment Experiences) allows students to apply for internship opportunities within the GS Athletics Department.

Transitioning to Life After Sports 

You are nearing the end of your sports and/or undergraduate career and may be wondering, “What next?”. Transitions can be challenging no matter when they occur. Fortunately, you have the skills you gained while participating in sports to help you prepare for the future. Please schedule an appointment with your Career and Internship Specialist before this transition happens to have a conversation about what your next steps should consist of.

Graduate/Professional School Preparation 

Graduate School is an opportunity to prepare for a new profession, advance in your current field, or explore advanced learning for self-enhancement. Graduate study requires real commitment and is different in many ways from your undergraduate work. It is focused, shorter, and more intense. Visit our Graduate School Resources pages to get started.

Interview Tips for Student Athletes  

Learning to articulate your athletic transferable skills are important when interviewing. Consider approaching an interview similar to how you would a big game or other event. Practice, practice, practice! It’s important to research yourself, the position you are applying for, and the company. This video offers five tips on how to ace an interview. Below are some additional interview tips you may find helpful:. 

  • Use the STAR Framework to structure your answers:
    Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR), a method to help you hit key points and present your examples in a structured manner. Think about it as storytelling; you must clearly explain your experiences to illustrate your background, skills, and personal characteristics.

Situation: Was there a problem that required resolution or an initiative that you were asked to lead? Set the stage and briefly provide background. Choose relevant examples that will demonstrate the skills the employer is seeking. You can draw from internships, leadership roles, extracurricular activities, or academics. Avoid personal examples unless they are directly related to the position.

Task: What tasks were you assigned and what were you trying to accomplish? What was your role and how did you help to solve the problem or accomplish the goal? Focus on your individual role, especially if you were working in a team. Though teamwork is valued, the interviewer is assessing your individual contributions.

Action: What steps did you take to accomplish that task? What was your plan of action? Focus on your actionable steps, discussing the task in a concise sequence. The keyword is concise; avoid too much detail.

Results: What happened as a result? What were your outcomes? How did your efforts contribute to the organization? If possible, quantify your answers.

  • Questions to practice:
    • Tell me about yourself?
    • What are your top three strengths and how have you used those strengths?
    • What’s one area of improvement?
    • Tell me about a time when team morale and motivation were low. What did you do to try to rebuild team spirit?
    • Tell me about a time when a team member wasn’t pulling his or her weight. 
  • Questions to ask the Interviewer:
    • What does a typical day look like in this role?
    • What do you think is the most challenging aspect of this job?
    • What do you think are the most important qualities for someone in this position to possess?
    • Do you need me to clarify or elaborate on anything regarding my suitability for the position? 

Schedule a mock interview appointment with your Career and Internship Specialist to practice 

Partnerships with Professional Organizations 

Last updated: 9/20/2022