By Colby Lanham
CLEMSON, S.C. — On March 23, junior and senior student-athletes across all sports gathered at the Madren Center dressed in their finest professional wear for the Tiger “Pro Day” event. The event is designed as a professional networking opportunity orchestrated by Kyra Lobbins, Clemson’s Director of Student-Athlete Development. The program is geared towards upperclassmen who will be soon be thrust into the competitive job market.
The goal of the program is to allow junior and senior class student-athletes an opportunity to network with various industry professionals to help prepare them for life after graduation. The program, in its third year, seeks to help expose the student-athletes to the different career opportunities that are available to them while providing an invaluable opportunity to make connections with key individuals in the presented industries.
“Often times, we’ve found that there are student-athletes who do know what they want to do after they graduate, those that don’t, and others that are looking to be made aware of the opportunities that are out there, and these sessions are built to help them do that,” Lobbins said.
The program has adjusted each year based on feedback from student-athletes. This year, the Pro Day included leaders from various career fields in sports, management, business, public service, and health. The program was split into multiple sessions, with the first focusing on navigating internships and job interviews, while athletes got an opportunity to attend career sessions based on what fields of work they might be interested in the most.
Pitcher Alex Bostic entered Tiger Pro Day not knowing what to expect, and left more confident in not only obtaining a greater understanding of what it takes to succeed in a job interview, but also successfully finding and pursuing the right opportunities when they present themselves.
“These sessions really helped me understand and start thinking about what I want to do once I graduate and it has really made more confident in better handling the job interview process,” Bostic said.
Distance runner Catherine Herring, who plans on becoming a nurse practitioner after she graduates, was ecstatic at the opportunity to network with professionals in the medical field. Needless to say, Herring’s passion to work in the field was sparked by the events of this year’s Tiger Pro Day.
“They often talked about finding your passion and taking that next step, so even though I have a pretty good idea of what path I want to take after graduation, having an opportunity like this is something I’ve learned a lot from and gained more passion about my career path,” Herring said.
As the upperclassmen continue to excel on their respective fields and courts, they will graduate with confidence in the fact that they can go pro in something other than sports.
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