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Does being a college athlete give you an advantage when applying for jobs after graduation?

I currently play college basketball for a Division II University. Will this type of commitment to sports and academics be beneficial when applying for jobs after graduation? It takes a considerable amount of time practicing, playing games, and training in the summer. Would I be in a better position interning or studying abroad rather than playing college sports? #playcollegesports


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Shea’s Answer

Dillon -

As a professional who does quite a bit of recruiting for PwC, I can tell you that this type of commitment is seen as a positive. The amount of time you invest, the teamwork you experience, the way you interact with coaches/teammates/administration, the organization it takes to be successful as a student athlete, etc. - is all seen as a positive. Personally, I see this as a differentiation from other people I might interview that don't work during the school year.


That being said - I do encourage you to find summer internships that would fit into the space you are looking to get a job!


Hope this helps!

Shea.


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Alison’s Answer

Hi Dillon,


Congratulations on being a collegiate-athlete! I believe it is an under-appreciated accomplishment. I played Division I lacrosse in college and understand your concern for how this will transfer into the real world. I had a college counselor tell me that I should move my athletic accomplishments to the bottom of my resume, that employers would not find value in my athletic commitment, and that I needed more extracurriculars if I ever wanted to find a job. These are all false! I finally found someone in my school's professional development center who was a college athlete and understood how valuable it truly was.


I have found that being a college athlete gave me an advantage when applying for jobs as long as you phrase it correctly. Most people who are not college athletes do not understand how much of a commitment it truly is. Do not be afraid to spell out all of the different activities you are required to participate in (traveling, practice x days a week, 20+ hours of team commitments a week, weight training, team study hall, etc.) plus highlight your academic achievements alongside. Additionally, highlight the "transferable skills" participating in athletics teaches you in your resume, cover letter or during interviews.


With that being said, I would pursue those things that you want to do while in college. The four years go by quickly so if you want to study abroad or pursue other extracurricular activities you should! I would recommend talking to your coach first as they may be flexible allowing you to do both. My coach allowed many of our players, including myself, to study abroad while maintaining a spot on the team!


Hope this helps! Best of luck.


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Kim’s Answer

Dillon,

I think you might be able to find an internship that will work around your basketball schedule. Maybe. You are already very perceptive as to how to use basketball to your advantage when applying to jobs. It is what we call "transferable skills." Things like teamwork, dedication, etc. are important traits. When you go to write your resume, you don't just say, "I was on the basketball team." You would say something like "Strong sense of dedication, teamwork, and time management skills, developed over 4 years while playing on the college basketball team and maintaining an A/B average, attending classes full-time." The school career center will be able to help you with using sports to your advantage. Also, if your team does community service, add that in as well. Some companies are really big on the community service role. Try to get into positions of leadership in whatever you do: team captain, fundraiser chairperson, etc., as this is another important skill.


Great question!

~Kim~


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