St. Peter, Minn. - Gustavus Adolphus College student-athletes Alex Brodjeski (Savage, Minn./Football), Matt Carlson (Roseville, Minn./Cross Country), and Pat Tracy (St. Louis Park Minn./Track & Field) participated in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Career in Sports Forum held June 5-8 in Indianapolis. In its fifth year of existence, the NCAA invited more than 200 student-athletes and NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients to NCAA headquarters for the four-day event.
“The experience as a whole was absolutely amazing,” said thrower Pat Tracy. “The content was extremely helpful and insightful for the different jobs in athletics and how to improve your chances at gaining employment. What was even more impactful was meeting a wide array of student-athletes and facilitators. Every single person there was an outstanding individual. The friendships will last a life time.”
Organized and directed by the NCAA Leadership Development department, the Career in Sports Forum was created to provide student-athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on intercollegiate athletics. The forum provides student-athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in sports business and a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
During the forum, participants heard from keynote speakers/panelists and also learned best practices for gaining employment and gathering a better understanding of what future expectations will be once they get a job. Click here for a complete list of speakers/panelists with their biographies attached.
“One takeaway from this experience that will stick with me comes from the keynote speaker, Joan Cronan, who spoke on leadership,” Tracy said about one of the his more memorable experiences of the trip. “She stated that she was speaking with Jerry Jones once and he stated that “Great leaders are individuals who have passion with a vision and a sphere of influence.” I find it very enlightening because as I reflected on some great leaders that I have interacted with at Gustavus. The person has to have passion, vision, and influence to be successful as a leader in sports and life.”
Tracy continued, “Another takeaway more relating to careers was networking. Multiple speakers stated that the most important part of networking is not who you know, but who knows you. To me this means you have to be memorable and authentic with everything and everyone.”
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports and who were viewed as leaders on their campus were invited to the four-day Career In Sports Forum after their nomination year by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure.
The NCAA Leadership Development department provides professional and personal development for the entire Association, including student-athletes, coaches and administrators, through accessible resources, strategic partnerships and annual customized programming.
“Considering that only 200 athletes were selected to attend, I felt honored to be nominated and selected to represent Gustavus at the forum along with Matt and Alex,” concluded Tracy. “It was great to have other Gusties there and the amount of Minnesota athletes, particularly MIAC athletes, was amazing to see. I was fortunate enough to get to know many of these athletes, like Konnor Fleming, who plays football for Macalestern and Gary Mariscal, who played baseball for Augsburg, and the other athletes from different divisions like Daunte Carr, a football player from Arkansas and Ashley Ahn, who swims for Hawaii. The experience is one I will never forget.”