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Step 1: Career Transitions

Step 1: Career Transitions

On Wednesday evening, freshmen student-athletes gathered in the McFadden Building Team Meeting Room for the Career Directions workshop, the first phase of the Athletic Department’s Four-Year Development Plan. The Athletic Department collaborated with the Michelin Career Center once again as they began to jumpstart the process of making freshmen student athletes aware of the skills they can develop during their athletic careers and how they can transfer into their future careers.

“The goal for this program is helping students start early in their freshman year looking at the type of careers they want to get into after their athletic career,” Julie Newman, Director of Career Development said.

“Some may go into professional sports, and they’ll eventually have to go onto their second career. What we’re trying to do is help students to look at the skills they’re gaining with athletics, whether it’s their leadership, discipline, or motivation, their teamwork and cooperation, becoming adaptable or learning a new position.”

The workshop allowed freshmen student-athletes to begin harnessing and developing their transferable skills from their respective sports. It also introduced them to the types of careers and occupations within the different 80 undergraduate degrees offered at Clemson along with the different developmental and academic resources available.

“There are so many rich skills through athletics that are transferable to the world of work. When they look at their majors they can also look at those transferable skills there and, if they have an opportunity outside the classroom, to volunteer or participate in creative inquiries or internships, where they can gain another set of skills while applying the skills they have,” Newman said.

“We want them to start thinking about whether their major is right for them and if they’re aware of looking at different career directions, so we’re just trying to get them to start thinking early about what they have and what they can capitalize on and move forward from there,” Newman said.

In addition to reviewing different majors and different career paths, the freshmen also took the Holland Code Career Test, which measured interest levels in six categories of careers: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. After completing the test, they watched video clips from popular culture and determined which career personality best fit the character based on their characteristics. They also discussed values related to how to best find a career that best fit them.

Rebecca Simonetti, a member of the Rowing team, didn’t have her career test match up with her aspirations, but found the workshop to be enlightening and even more certain that she was in the major best for her future career interests.

“It was cool that we got to see what careers match up with our personalities and our values,” Simonetti said. “ As a biological science major, I’ve always wanted to be a pediatrician, and even though I was matched differently on the test, the information was still cool to hear.”


International student-athletes like Diego Campos benefitted from the workshop in realizing not only the transferable skills, but also the different opportunities that are available to student-athletes.

“I’m an international student from Costa Rica, and we’re not always sure what to study or what may fit us here,” Campos said.

“The environment is different here than in Costa Rica,  and the jobs you would get here are different than what you may get there, so this event really helps us to better clear our minds and help us pick the best things that could fit us and our interests.”

Marisa Messana, a member of the Women’s Golf team and a Communication Studies major, found that the test opened up more potential career paths for her that she may have not thought of before.

“I knew from the beginning that I liked working with people that are leading figures and can manage you and are really goal oriented, but I also thought it was interesting to see I would get along with people that train and develop and want to inform others, so I liked those activities,” Messana said.