“Employers and schools need to look at the whole package; sometimes the most important aspects cannot be expressed on paper.” —Stephanie Wetmore, Graduate, Georgetown University and UCLA
I am a 24-year-old athlete with three major transitions that have led me to where I am today.
My first transition was from high school to university. At 17 years old, I was nearing the end of my high school career and started to consider my options for the future. As an accomplished tennis player, I had a few choices for my next step, which included: pro tennis, university in Canada or a tennis scholarship in the United States.
I was on the fence because I thought I could be successful on the pro tour, but at the same time university seemed like the logical option. I ended up accepting a full tennis scholarship at UCLA, and as a Canadian from Toronto, moving to the U.S. was both challenging and exciting.
I chose school over the pros and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
The second transition was from undergraduate to graduate school when I entered Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., for Sports Management. Grad school helped me step out of my comfort zone and apply the material I was being taught in the workforce.
After finishing grad school, I’m now experiencing my third (and most difficult) transition. My path of education is complete and I’m now setting out to create a new one in the communications field.
During my graduate program I started working as an assistant tennis coach at Georgetown, which was a change from being an athlete. I’m now working part-time as an assistant tennis coach at Georgetown and part-time as a communications intern at Lagardere, a public relations company in Washington, D.C.
Another hurdle I’ve had to overcome in my transition to the “real world” has been securing employment in the U.S. Despite similarities between the two countries, getting paperwork to work over the border has been a challenge. Canadian students who attend school in the U.S. are eligible for up to 12 months of employment. After that, you need to find a company that will sponsor you for a work visa.
I’m currently in my 12-month period after school and who knows if I’ll find a company to sponsor me, but I’m trying to gain as much experience as I can.
Look at the entire person as opposed to the GPA, work experience or resume. Meeting someone face-to-face gives you a better understanding of his or her personality. This is true in my case as my undergraduate GPA was not as impressive, but my other attributes I developed during my athletic scholarship made me invaluable as a potential hire.
Playing varsity tennis taught me leadership skills, time management and teamwork. I was constantly trying to improve – learning how to set goals and handle constructive criticism. Learning how to make result-oriented changes at a young age set me apart from the competition.
Employers and schools need to look at the whole package; sometimes the most important aspects cannot be expressed on paper.
Pursue something you love. If I were to quantify my scholarship, it would have added up to approximately $90,000 per year. If you ask me, that’s a pretty great payoff for doing something you’re passionate about.
In high school I had to choose between professional tennis and my education. Choosing education was a great decision, and an invaluable part of my journey. I know my education and tennis experience helped me get to where I am today. I’m still coaching tennis, which I hope will always be a part of my life.
Master’s in Sports Industry Management
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Student Voice is an initiative to fight Gen Y under-employment by giving American students and recent grads a platform to share their job hunting experiences, as well as their recommendations for employers.
With their help, we are going to improve the way employers and students connect, and make the school-to-work transition easier.
At TalentEgg, we’ve always believed that the conversation about campus recruitment and the school-to-work transition needed to be opened up to include feedback from all parties involved. Leveraging our unique position at the intersection of employers, students, career centres (and as a company full of Gen Y-ers ourselves), we are egg-cited to provide an open platform that will allow Generation Y to be heard.
We’re fighting Gen Y un- and under-employment by…