Siena Water Polo rising senior Clare Bryar and recent women's golf graduate Kristen Bromley have been selected to represent both Siena College and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference at the Eighth Annual NCAA Career in Sports Forum to be held June 1-4 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"Both Clare and Kristen will benefit tremendously from the event," said Director of Student Athlete Engagement Lori Jancik. "Kristen interned last summer for an LPGA tournament, and with her Marketing degree in hand, is set on a career in sports. The networking aspect will be key for her. Clare, a Psychology major with marketing minor, will no doubt be a careful student of the behavioral styles topics. She will roll right into an internship this summer and be able to apply newly-acquired skills immediately."
Both Bryar and Bromley will be submitting daily blog entries and pictures from their experiences at the NCAA Career in Sports Forum. Check back daily beginning on Thursday by scrolling to the bottom of the page to view their entries and pictures.
"I'm very lucky and excited," stated Bromley. "Especially with just graduating, I think the forum will help me feel more comfortable transitioning into the sports business world. I'm very thankful to have been chosen to attend such an elite forum that I know will provide Clare and I with knowledge and skills in order to be successful after our collegiate careers."
Bryar a native of Chicago, Illinois and Bromley, a native of Pittsford, New York are two of the more than 230 current student athletes and NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients with an interest in working in sports that were invited to attend the event.
"I think being able to attend the career in sports forum is a great opportunity and I'm so excited to see the kinds of things I learn there," Bryar said. "I think pursuing a career in sports is something that I am really interested in and I can't wait to see what I get out of my weekend in Indianapolis."
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports, and who were viewed as leaders on their campus, were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many current and past attendees are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure.
The four-day forum is designed to assist student athletes in charting their career paths, as well as provide an opportunity to network and learn from current athletics professionals. Some topics covered include: how personal values intersect with career opportunities, how behavioral styles impact individual effectiveness, the key professional and career development information to assist with transition from student athlete to a professional and the role of the college coach or athletics administrator.
Forum attendees, with representation from 73 conferences, will hear from various keynote speakers and panelists, highlighted by Stevie Baker-Watson, associate vice president and director of athletics at DePauw University; Jason Burton, head women's basketball coach at the Texas A&M University-Commerce; Clyde Doughty Jr, director of athletics at Bowie State University; Oliver Luck, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs; Felicia Martin, vice president of the NCAA Eligibility Center; and Craig McPhail, director of athletics at Lees-McRae College. The participants also learn best practices for gaining employment and gathering a better understanding of what future expectations will be once they get a job in sports.
The NCAA leadership development department provides professional and personal development for the entire Association, including student athletes, coaches and administrators, through accessible resources, strategies partnerships and annual customized programming at little or no cost to the membership. For more information, please go to www.NCAA.org/leadershipdevelopment.
Day 1: The Moment
By: Kristen Bromley
When future anxieties take over our thought process, especially within the minds of student-athletes, peers and coaches will tell us to "live in the moment." But accomplishing such a task isn't all that easy when our immediate focus involves academic, athletic and social worries. The 2017 Career in Sports Forum host, Clyde Doughty Jr., Athletic Director at Bowie State University, commenced the weekend by asking the room full of current and former student-athletes what we define opportunity as. After a few answers, Mr. Doughty explained that with each opportunity we are presented with, we have the chance to take control of our reaction and we can react in two ways. We can decide to fully exert our energy and enthusiasm in order to embrace what's presented to us. Or on the contrary, we may realize that the moment isn't important, encouraging the control of laziness and fear, ultimately letting the moment pass in a negative way.
Thinking about each moment in a more positive way, like as an opportunity rather than a tedious task, gives us a more attainable and encouraging mentality. Doughty went into further discussion of our reactions and how we can positively take control of a situation. How we take advantage of an opportunity will determine how successful we will be. Essentially, the greater value we see in a moment, the more likely we are to react in a positive way, likely leading to higher success. Instead of viewing a situation as needing "change" he suggested viewing it as needing "improvements" or "adjustments." The replacement of one single word changes the connotation altogether, allowing us to positively make the most of each given opportunity.
My time at Siena finished three weeks ago and I won't be returning to Siena in the fall, which is a change I never wanted to occur. But taking Doughty's advice and viewing my post-graduate endeavors as improvements rather than changes, will give me the confidence and the continued work ethic to strive for a successful career. The moment is now and we shouldn't waste our energy dwelling on the negative. Instead, we should view the positive opportunities that lie within each moment.
By: Clare Bryar
Day two at the Career in Sports Forum had a packed schedule. The day began at 815am with a talk from Oliver Luck. Oliver Luck serves as the Executive Vice President of regulatory affairs in the NCAA. Throughout his talk Mr. Luck informed us on the mountainous career path that led him to working in his current position. One of his most impressive career moves was to attend law school while playing professional football. He also spent time as a football coach for a team in Frankfurt, Germany. Throughout his career Luck attested his success to the ability to be competitive, which is a skill he fostered through his time as an athlete.
Our morning shifted to listening from a panel of NCAA governance employees who represented divisions I, II, and III. This was a very educating talk since I have not been exposed to the philosophies of divisions II and III. These speakers outlined what working within each division would look like and the pros and cons they find within each division.
Our afternoon consisted of smaller group discussions from three different speakers. The first person we heard from was Quentin Wright a member of the NCAA office of regulatory affairs. He outlined for us what the different operations entail in each department within the NCAA National Office. Our next speaker was Danielle Harris who works for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Ms. Harris talked about the operations within the conference offices. She spoke of the specific tasks that the conference is responsible for in order to serve its member institutions. Our third speaker for this session was Jackie Paquette who is an athletic director at the University of Indianapolis. Jackie's school is division III which entails that her job is very cross functional and she is able to serve many roles within her position at the University of Indianapolis.
Following the small group break out session the whole group came back together to listen to a group of three former student athletes share their experiences as interns and graduate assistants. Taylor Williams serves as a graduate assistant for the Valparaiso University softball team and she shared her enthusiastic insight into the very beginning of her coaching career. Nathan Anderson serves as an intern for the National Association of Collegiate Directors Athletics. Nathan does work with four different athletic conferences. Jamie Rogalski is an intern at the University of Indiana working with leadership and life skills with the student athletes.
The final educator of the night was Becky Hall, who serves as an athletic director for Ogelthorpe University in Atlanta Georgia. Becky share her story that led her to becoming an athletic director. When she got to Olgelthorpe the athletics department was in poor shape and she has since turned it around and hopes to have championship teams within the next few years. So far the Career in Sports Forum has been rigorous and educating. I am learning about career avenues in sports that I had not known about. I am very excited to see what else is to come in these next few days!
Day Three : Emotional Intelligence
By: Kristen Bromley
One of the most interesting seminars we had on day three involved the concept of emotional intelligence and emotionally intelligent leadership. We learned how this psychological concept plays a large role in athletics and the work setting. As student athletes, we're often told to "control our thoughts and focus" but not all of us know how to master that demand.
Maya Ozery, Director of Student Leadership and Development at the University of Richmond, helped us understand the tricky concept of emotional intelligence and then divided it into three core facets. A quote from Daniel Goleman, an expert psychologist, was displayed on the screen that read, "Emotional Intelligence is the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions effectively in others and ourselves." After interpreting and understanding this quote, Ozery identified the three core facets of emotionally intelligent leadership as the consciousness of self, the consciousness of others and the consciousness of context. I was slightly overwhelmed at first, but with close attention I was able to learn a lot from the lecture.
The first facet, consciousness of self, practically defines itself; it's how aware we are of the emotions in our head and the non-verbal queues we present when speaking to others. Self-reflection and self-management help us better understand our emotional thoughts that are made visible through our body language and facial expressions. Identifying what makes us happy, sad and angry gives us better control of how we present ourselves towards others, ultimately helping us improve our self-esteem, authenticity and our flexibility. Reflecting on the thoughts we have in certain situations helps us understand how we will react, giving us better control of our reactions in future conflicting situations. The second facet, consciousness of others, involves studying other people and their non-verbal queues, their facial expression and their overall presentation. How do we react when one of our teammates hits a bad shot and their visibly frustrated? We must remember to be mindful and empathetic and address the situation in a way that is best for them, not us. In doing so, we manage conflicts and improve the emotional well being of each other.
The last facet is the consciousness of context. This involves analyzing the environment in which the situation or conflict is taking place. What external factors can we notice about our teammates when they're angry about a missed shot - was their pre-shot routine inconsistent? Was it a shot involving pressure? Being able to identify the surrounding external elements allows us to resolve the conflict and to practice the control of the emotions that arise.
Although the three facets are separated, it's important for us to still see the relationship between the three. Self-analysis and self-reflection give us the opportunity to practice how we control our own emotions, which then gives us a better understanding of how to read and address the emotional needs of others. By also incorporating and taking into consideration the surrounding contexts, we are finally able to manage conflict in a way that is beneficial to all parties involved.
Learning about emotional intelligence made me realize that this applies to nearly every situation where interactions between people occur including sports, work and school. Ozery did a great job getting the audience engaged and thinking about the impact and difference we can make as leaders by simply having a better understanding of emotional intelligence and the different components to look for when trying to resolve an issue. I think this knowledge will personally help me, as I soon will enter the work place, interacting with a diverse group of people having varying viewpoints.
Day Four: Finding Your "Why"
By: Clare Bryar
Day four at the Career in Sports Forum consisted of a couple of final thought inspiring talks. The first speaker was Jason Burton, a division III basketball coach from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Mr. Burton spoke about finding your "Why." This concept revolves around reflection on your individual passions, values, goals, and dreams. The whole purpose behind finding your Why, is to be able to channel the characteristics about yourself and your purpose in life to put towards your career goals. Mr. Burton shared his story of how he came to realize his Why. His goal was to be a head coach by the time he was thirty. He received the position of head coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce, but realizing his Why had come shortly after being hired when a tragic accident took the lives of two of his players. It took that event for him to realize that his goals were not in line with the purpose of his work. Coach Burton re-evaluated his Why and channeled more passion and focus on his players rather than himself. Focusing on his Why has proved to be a game changing concept for him as he has had led his team to some of their best seasons in the past three years. Coach Burton's talk inspired us all to define our Why and use that as a guide towards our career aspirations.
The weekend concluded with one last discussion led by Felicia Martin the Vice President of the NCAA Eligibility Center. Ms. Martin's discussion was a continuation of Mr. Burton's topic and she instructed us to begin constructing a plan towards our career ambitions. This was a good discussion to summarize all of the different things we had gone over throughout the weekend. Ms. Martin advised us to build our networks, understand ourselves in our strengths and weaknesses, and define our passions and values to apply towards a career.
Our final day at the Career in Sports Forum was definitely bitter sweet. We left the NCAA headquarters equipped with knowledge and advice from some of the most inspiring and insightful professionals in collegiate athletics. We also left Indianapolis having made new connections and friends with athletes from all around the country. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to attend the Career in Sports Forum, I learned so much and I am very excited to see where my career can go.