Photo by Nate Olsen/Nebraska Communications

Career Fair Prepares Huskers for Life After Sports

By NU Athletic Communications

On Monday night, more than 400 student-athletes across all 24 varsity sports attended a career fair put on by the NU Life Skills Department. The night provided the student-athletes an opportunity to interact with more than 40 employers, including Northwestern Mutual, Omaha and Lincoln Police Departments, Union Pacific Railroad, Target, Spreetail, Sandhills Publishing and First National Bank. Additionally, students got to explore other post-graduate opportunities, such as medical school and graduate school.

Employers answered questions and gave information about job openings and internships. Nina Radulovic, a member of the Nebraska rifle team, was one of the students in attendance.

“As a junior, I find the student-athlete career fair extremely helpful because we get to communicate with a variety of different companies and explore different fields of interest,” Radulovic said. “It is never too soon to start thinking about life after college and having a chance to do that with people understanding of the student-athlete schedule is a special kind of an opportunity.”

While the career fair was beneficial for the student-athletes, it proved to be just as beneficial for the companies. There are career fairs on many different campuses, but an athletic-specific fair consists of students who hold many of the traits future employers search for in their potential employees.

“Some of the big things we hire on is having that drive and that hard work ethic – obviously student-athletes show that potential,” said Scott Paseka, a recruiting specialist for Sandhills Publishing. “What they do within sports is a direct representation. They can’t always hold jobs at times [so] being able to show that they can hold very steady athletic opportunities and that they can really exceed is a direct proponent of how they are going to do in the work force. Usually if they’ve had success on the field – even if they haven’t had  a lot of success as being a top athlete –  showing that they have discipline, commitment, that competitive drive and just again that hard work ethic really helps them succeed in the work force.”

Kolby Blatchford, a financial advisor for Modern Woodmen of America, also spoke highly of former student-athletes as employees.

“I really appreciate the work ethic they put into it,” Blatchford said. “If you can transition that from sports to your career, that’s huge,” Blatchford said. “The time and effort it takes to be a football player or basketball player or baseball player or whatever, that’s going to be really important for people. A big thing in our career, especially building clientele, is that credibility. So if people [know] you used to play at Nebraska, that’s huge and that’s really important for us.”

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