Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Hiatt Career Corner: Would you hire this student?

Published: February 6, 2009
Section: Opinions

Focus: Dedicated, organized, and balanced as demonstrated by strong devotion to Brandeis Varsity Swimming Team. Proven leadership and team-player skills acquired through intense physical and mental conditioning and participation. Strongly developed sense of punctuality and work ethic

Education: Brandeis University, Waltham MA. B.A. Psychology and Economics, May 2010. Relevant courses: Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Statistics for Economic Analysis

Skills: Language: Proficient in Spanish. Computer: Strong computer skills and exposure to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, STATA. Communication: Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Experience: Brandeis University Swimming and Diving Team, Waltham, MA. Sept. 2006 – Present. Dedicated member of Varsity program that constitutes 20+ hours/week practice and competition, plus travel. Demonstrated success in balancing sport and academic pursuits. Exhibited positive response and discipline to intense distance training and competition for extended periods of time. Proven team player and leader

What do employers look for and why do athletes have an advantage? In essence, as a student athlete, you have learned to take direction, make crucial split-second decisions, exhibit composure in stressful situations, follow the rules, show up on time (all the time), stay focused, work harder than you ever thought possible, suffer defeat with dignity and respect, and then return the next day ready to play again. You have the grit, acquired through athletic participation and performance, for any workplace.

In competitive markets, employers want candidates who have demonstrated that they can go the distance; for student athletes this means that their competitive, high-achieving nature goes beyond the pool, field, or court to the “playing field” of work and life.

Employers look for players who have endured bench sitting and practices with few play time rewards, as well as the leading scorers who exhibit strength AND modesty. They look for potential employees who can take the initiative to lead a team, as well as follow a leader; who can take direction or criticism without disagreement or dissent.

If you are thinking of a more “low key” career path, especially in today’s economy, there are no underachieving workplaces. In non-profits or NGO’s, the competition for funding and pursuit of excellence is greater than ever before. The same can be said for medical research, biotech, higher education, and the list goes on… Personal drive is a major determinant of success in any field.

So, in any work environment, an entry-level employee who can demonstrate and apply the skills and strength of character and work ethic learned in athletic training and performance will do well. That performance, whether highly praised or quietly understood, contributes to the overall health of the organization. Bottom line: you perform to make your employer succeed, just as you did for the team. When your employer succeeds their stock value, donor base or grant funding increases. You will contribute to the bottom line of any organization by using your skills, knowledge and dedication learned through competitive sports. What employer would not want you as an employee?

The key: learn to sell yourself to an employer by knowing yourself well as an athlete and a scholar! Articulate the skills and knowledge you have in written and oral communication. Present yourself with poise and confidence. You have earned it! And if you need help defining yourself as a student/athlete, or writing about yourself, networking, interviewing, or sealing the deal, call Hiatt Career Center for an appointment.