By: Director of Athletic Cimmunications and Public Relations Kevin Ruple
BEREA, Ohio -- On November 8, the Baldwin Wallace University Career Services and Athletics Departments combined with the new Brown & Gold Club and the Center for Innovation & Growth to host the first "Career Captains" event, and it was a great success! Cick Here to view a photo gallery of the event.
Matching Our Current Student-Athletes with Alumni Professionals
The event matched current BW student-athletes with alumni who are professionals in a number of fields. The student-athletes were able to meet with alumni in either a one-on-one or group discussion about the various options for future career opportunities and employment.
"The Career Captains event was a wonderful collaboration between Career Services, the BW Athletic program and its coaches and student-athletes," said BW Director of Career Services Carmen Castro-Rivera. "It was an opportunity to provide an exclusive event for student-athletes that helped them identify and articulate the important transferable skills developed as student-athletes (communication, teamwork, leadership, ethics and conduct, self-motivation, dedication, determination, etc.).
"I also want to take this opportunity to single out Ms. Judy Mey from our department for her efforts in making this an unbelievable successful event," said Castro-Rivera. "Judy continues to be an extremely valuable member of our team and is a champion for the students of Baldwin Wallace."
By the Numbers and a Thank You from a Student-Athlete
Thirty-two student-athletes representing 12 varsity teams participated in the inaugural event, and 20 businesses/industries, alumni and friends of the University served as mentors and panelists. The student-athletes appreciated the effort and enjoyed the experience.
"I wanted to take the time to express my appreciation to Ms. Judy Mey, Ms. Carmen and Coach Keeley and thank them for putting on the Jacket Career Captains event," said junior football student-athlete A. J. Miller (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Spring Charter). "It was truly a professionally facilitated event. People like you make BW an awesome university to attend.
"The best piece of advice that I walked out of this experience with was that the BW alumni network is special, so tap into it," said Miller, an international studies major who carries a 3.90 grade average and plays quarterback. "I hope this event continues on a regular basis."
About the Program
To participate, student-athletes had to be nominated by a coach and have participated in two or more career development activities during the fall semester, such as meet with a career advisor, attend a career fair or attend a career workshop.
At the event, student-athletes were able to hear and network with BW athletics alumni to learn about their career journeys and get tips and advice. Students also were able to practice networking and how to share their knowledge, skills and goals in a professional introduction. Alumni and guests representing diverse organizations and industries shared feedback and suggestions to support students in their career development.
The BW Alumni Network is as Strong as Ever
"I am continually impressed by the generosity of the BW alumni network," said Head Men's Lacrosse Coach Trey Keeley, who, along withSwimming and Head Diving Coach Laura Demaline and Head Women's Lacrosse Coach Nicolle St. Pierre, organized the event in the athletic department. "I can't thank Doug Amy and the Brown & Gold Club enough for their involvement in the event and their commitment to improving the BW student-athlete experience.
"Employers in Cleveland actively seek BW student-athletes for high profile internships and careers because our student-athletes are competitors on and off the field," said Keeley. "The Jacket Career Captains event was just an opportunity for them to showcase their diverse skill sets to some of the most reputable companies in Cleveland.
"There has been so much positive feedback from employers, alumni, students and coaches," continued Keeley. "The BW connection is a powerful one, and I know our students are feeling the positive effects after events like these. Carmen and Judy [Mey] do such a great job with our Career Services programming. It was such a pleasure to join forces to make this such a powerful opportunity. We also are excited about the possibilities of the event in the future."
Many Thanks to Those on Campus Who Made This Event Happen
"Trey Keeley was pivotal in rallying support from BW coaches to nominate student-athletes and encourage their participation," said Castro-Rivera, who was assisted greatly by Judy Mey from the Career Services Office. "In addition, Coach Demaline and Coach St. Pierre each played a significant role in the success.
"The endorsement of Athletic Director Kris Diaz and Assistant Athletic Director John Snell helped to validate the purpose of the event and bring others on board to make the event a success, including the new Brown & Gold Club which provided financial sponsorship.
"It is our intent to build on the success of this inaugural Career Captains event and make it a bigger and better annual offering," continued Castro-Rivera. "This type of program and collaboration between BW Athletics and Career Services demonstrates our clear commitment to the success of student-athletes while at BW and beyond."