The reasons we love watching college athletes compete are what makes them great employees. These young men and women represent a deep talent pool to check out especially if the chemistry of your corporate team could use a boost.
- Competing on such a high level requires they work well with others in tense situations, make decisions and solve problems to help their group advance to a goal. At Enterprise, a leading recruiter of college graduates, a student athlete represents an employee “who can pull the trigger and make a decision,” said the company’s vice president for talent acquisition Marie Antrim.
- They are more self-reliant and aware of what they can contribute to better the team. “Sports provide the foundation to have discipline and be a self-starter while overcoming adversity,” said Jed Hughes, vice chairman of Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm with offices in 40 countries.
- They are driven (some literally). Student-athletes are wired and/or trained to max out their talent and opportunity. (Read this story about a Xavier basketball player who discovered great personal benefit by driving for the car-sharing service Uber.)
- They are resilient and can leverage that skill to advance themselves and their teams. This is particularly true for female student-athletes. More than 50 percent of female executives played college sports. See more details of why this is at this great infographic from EY.
- For all the above reasons and more, they have superstar potential. Some examples of CEOS who played college sports include Jeffrey Immelt (GE, Dartmouth football), Walter Robb (Whole Foods, Stanford soccer) and Lynn Laverty Elsenhans (Sunoco, Rice basketball).
Your Game Changer Takeaway
Because of their sports training, student-athletes typically are ahead of their peers in leadership development, energy management and personal goal setting related to their careers. Only a small fraction of them go on to play professional sports, which means there’s a lot of talent ready to compete for your corporate team. Why not spark your team chemistry by hiring a student-athlete?
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.