Junior Kersten Merry and senior Alexandra Jamora were selected by a committee to represent the University of Utah in Indianapolis as part of the NCAA's Career In Sports Forum.
June 25, 2013
Senior Alexandra Jamora and junior Kersten Merry were selected by a committee to represent the University of Utah in Indianapolis as part of the NCAA's Career In Sports Forum, where nearly 300 student-athletes across Divisions I, II and III gathered from June 8-11 to learn more about making a successful transition from competition to their future professions in intercollegiate athletics.
"We learned a lot about the inner workings of an athletic department and learned to appreciate the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make an athletic department successful," Merry said. "It was great to meet student-athletes from across the NCAA (Divisions I, II and III), who we would not otherwise be able to meet. I am still in touch with a lot of the people I met so it was an experience that will stay with me my entire life.
"I want to work in athletic administration. I am interested in either marketing or communications so it was awesome to get a chance to work in a small-group session with a track coach and a sport administrator. This conference opened up a lot of options for me and now I'm thinking about the possibility of attending graduate school."
Current leaders in the profession led small-group sessions where they discussed their career paths and advised the student-athletes on how to develop the skill sets they'll need to achieve their goals like best practices in athletic administration, personal and professional branding, resources for applying to graduate school and human resource hiring processes.
"During the first day, each participant took a personality test to determine which positions we are suited for," Merry said. "We worked as a group to collaborate and learned about the importance of networking. With close to 300 student-athletes in one place, there was an incredible energy throughout the entire weekend and I'm excited to share what I learned with my teammates here at the University of Utah.
The student-athletes also worked with one another to exchange ideas with their peers and attended a formal networking dinner with NCAA senior administrators to discuss a variety of issues, while taking advantage of a unique networking opportunity.
"It was a life-changing experience," Merry said. "And when I say that, people who didn't go to the conference always say, `How can one weekend change your life?' But people who went know exactly what I'm talking about. I wish every student-athlete could have this opportunity."