WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Senior Stephen Laffin (West Hartford, Conn.) of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team has been selected to be among the nearly 400 NCAA student-athletes who will benefit from the opportunity to get career guidance and network with athletics administrators and sports industry experts virtually May 27-29 at the 2020 NCAA Career in Sports Forum.
The three-day forum prepares junior and senior student-athletes for a career after graduation. The forum helps student-athletes learn more about themselves as leaders by exposing them to projects that require critical thinking as well as practical experiences that will strengthen their personal and professional skills and competencies. Through their participation, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of roles within the athletics industry and how their personal and professional interests align with potential career paths.
Forum sessions include how student-athletes can become more aware of their inner strengths, how to develop a career plan, practical approaches to the job search, how to navigate as a young professional in the athletics industry, the role of an athletics administrator and head coach, and other motivational and key messaging from speakers. The athletes also will have opportunities to engage in breakout sessions where they will engage in guided discussions to further curriculum understanding and build community with other student-athletes. A student-athlete task force also was created to identify and develop specific sessions where student-athletes expressed particular interest.
"It is important to host the Career in Sports Forum this year, as we want to continue providing student-athletes with career and leadership development, even during these challenging times when we are unable to meet in person," said Lamarr Pottinger, Associate Director of NCAA Leadership Development.
"We must continue to execute our vision to educate student-athletes, be inclusive and focus on bringing these young leaders together in a community format where they can continue learning. The student-athletes will gain more insight around the sports industry and careers at the forum. However, they will also learn what their strengths are and who they are outside of their sport. The ultimate goal is to have these individuals walk away more prepared to gain employment after college athletics," Pottinger added.
The diverse lineup of student-athletes represents colleges and universities from all three divisions, numerous academic majors and many sports. The forum, typically held at the NCAA headquarters for close to 200 student-athletes, was expanded this year to provide more guidance and education, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forum speakers include directors of athletics, representatives from athletics academic services, athletic conference offices, head coaches, and officials in business and professional sports.
Besides hosting the Career in Sports Forum each year, the NCAA leadership development office sponsors other targeted programs that assist student-athletes with the transition to life after college sports, as well as programs to enhance their leadership skills. The department also facilitates inclusive programming for athletics administrators and coaches who work with student-athletes on college campuses.
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