KU Athletes Dressed for Success at Career Development Night
Sept. 26, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- More than 150 KU student athletes traded in their Crimson and Blue jerseys for suits, slacks and dresses Monday night at the second annual career development night hosted by Kansas Athletics. The event was held at Allen Fieldhouse and featured 45 different employers looking to expand their workforce in the near future.
“We are really proud that more than one third of the companies here have a former KU student athlete representing them,” said Kelly Watson Muther, who helped put on the event. “It is really neat to see our current student athletes interacting with our former student athletes.”
One of those current athletes at the event Monday was senior football player Jeremiah Hatch, who was excited to attend his first career fair.
“I am just trying to keep an open mind,” the communications major said. “Right now I am looking at anything that I may want to pursue.”
Hatch thinks the development night will help him in the long run when he is looking to hang up his cleats for a pair of loafers.
“This is a great event because it shows us that there is life after athletics,” he said.
There were a range of prospective employers for Hatch and his fellow Jayhawks to explore. From accounting firms, to grocery stores and even the American Red Cross, student athletes had a variety of different choices depending on their major.
“Jayhawks want to hire Jayhawks,” Watson Muther said. “When you have student athletes that are doing well in the classroom, they are great representatives of our university and because of that people want to come here and talk to them,” Watson Muther said. “It is also really interesting for our current student athletes to talk to the former ones about the transition to the professional world.”
One of those former athletes who has already made the transition to the working world is Ivana Catic, who played basketball at KU from 2006-09.
“I just hope that I can provide useful insight for them on something I did not have or really think about as I was going through this very same process,” the business technology analyst said. “It could be as simple as the do’s and don’ts when talking to employers or even changing your e-mail address to something more professional that can make the difference,” Catic said, who now works for Deloitte Consulting.
For those who needed some on the job training, there were lessons on how to tie a tie as well as a make-up station available for the ladies.
“They are learning important professional attire tips,” Watson Muther said. “The men are learning how to tie a tie by having someone pre-tie one for them and putting it on a hanger, while the women are being shown how to apply make-up for a professional look during the work day.”
The career development night lasted from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Fieldhouse and as event organizers noted, having it start later in the evening was an important factor.
“One of the disadvantages these athletes have is not being able to attend university career fairs because they usually take place from 2-6 p.m. when most of them have practice,” Watson Muther said. “So this is a great opportunity for our students in the athletic department to get in front of potential employers and learn how to network.”