Hiatt Career Center

You Didn’t Win Olympic Gold and That’s Okay

Cai Qi (left) and Thomas Bach (right) stand on a blue platform during the XXIV Winter Olympic Games in Beijing Opening Ceremony. Image courtesy of the President of the Russian Federation.

Every time you turn on the TV this month it’s been non-stop Winter Olympics coverage. While we’re certainly not complaining (we love a Nathan Chen quad), seeing all of the medal ceremonies as a student-athlete can be intimidating. What if you never win Olympic Gold or can’t make a career out of your sport!? We’re here to tell you that’s okay, and here’s why…

At the Hiatt Career Center, we know how much time and commitment you’ve spent on your athletic endeavors. Years upon years of your childhood and early adulthood have been spent training to hone your craft. Yet, did you know that all of that time and energy you spent also sharpened valuable career skills traditional internship and job recruiters look for?

Getting feedback from your coach? You are learning to take criticism and adapt. Setting workout schedules and setting time to focus on your academics? You are learning how to effectively complete multiple tasks. Helping out a teammate with a new skill? Teamwork!

There are a number of valuable skills that you are obtaining in your athletics that include (but are not limited to) leadership, communication, time-management, organization skills, and many more!

Since being a student-athlete takes up so much of your time, you want to make sure you are highlighting these experiences in your application materials. We highly encourage you to include your athletic experience in your resume and build out well-rounded robust bullet points to showcase your roles and responsibilities as an athlete.

Go beyond “Manage academics and athletics” and showcase how you are taking on that balance! Take a look at our Resume Resources for a great starting point on how to craft those experiences.

In your cover letter, talk in-depth about your practice schedules, competing in games/meets, or how you communicated effectively with your coaches. Tell a story and highlight your athletics!

So as you’re settling down to watch Nathan Chen once again dominate the figure skating world, don’t let anxiety about your future ruin your evening! Even if you don’t end up pursuing a professional career nor win Olympic Gold, you’ve developed a valuable set of career skills as a student-athlete.

Let Hiatt support you in showcasing these skills from your years of commitment as a student-athlete. You can explore our athlete-specific webpage, or schedule an appointment with our Career Team today to discuss topics like finding opportunities that fit with your athletics schedule, translating your skills to employers, sports jobs that don’t include going pro, and more!