FAYETTEVILLE – Last weekend (June 5-8), University of Arkansas student-athletes Jhasmin Bowen (women’s basketball), Daunte Carr (football), John Henson (football) and Megan Pearson (softball) were attendees at the 2014 NCAA Career in Sports Forum (CSF) in Indianapolis. The four Razorbacks were among the 200 selected student-athletes that were chosen from over 1,100 applicants.
Pearson is a soon-to-be senior infielder for the Razorback softball team. The Centerville, Ohio, native serves as the secretary and treasurer for Arkansas’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and was named to the 2014 SEC Community Service Team for her efforts in the Northwest Arkansas area. Upon graduation, Pearson aspires to a career within intercollegiate athletics with a start in student-athlete development. Below, she recounts her weekend in Indy.
Day 1: During last weekend’s Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis, the four of us were divided into separate groups, along with 200 other student-athletes from all three divisions. We spent the majority of our four days in our color team sessions discussing core values, transferable skills, and networking.
Day 2: We went through our DiSC® Workplace behavioral assessments to help us better understand engaging with peers and colleagues. Then we got an overview of the national office from Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances Mark Lewis. Following that, we had a networking lunch with NCAA office staff members who sat with us for some 1-on-1 conversation. President of the NCAA, Dr. Mark Emmert, spoke next. He gave us an update on collegiate athletics followed by a Q&A opportunity. We then went back to our color team sessions to discuss all the careers and roles within an athletic department.
Day 3: Curtis Hollomon, Director of Leadership Development, spoke with us about skill enhancement, professional development and career advancement. We also reviewed our resumes with peers to add to and improve them. There was also an alternative career in sports panel which included a local sportscaster, director of NCAA special projects for the Indiana Sports Corporation and a director of mass communications for a Major League Baseball team. The panel was followed by a social networking presentation and another panel of young professionals who provided their insight on transitioning from student-athlete into a career in intercollegiate athletics. We concluded the evening with a networking dinner.
Day 4: As the keynote speaker, they saved the best for last. Joan Cronan, Women’s Athletic Director Emeritus at the University of Tennessee, stole the show. She spoke about enjoying the journey, having integrity and the will to work for it. She shared stories about Pat Summit and all the adversity she has overcome while fighting a debilitating disease. In order to succeed, we must first start our own engine. After this experience, I feel so empowered and inspired to jump into my professional career after finishing my opportunity as a student-athlete.”
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