Pac-12 Career and Networking Event Brings Student-Athletes Together
In early March, a number of University of Arizona student-athletes took part in the first-ever Pac-12 Career and Networking Event that allowed them to meet – virtually – with a wide range of companies and organizations from around the world.
"The pandemic has definitely provided unique opportunities for us to support our student-athletes' career goals in very innovative ways," said Sofia Read, Arizona's Associate Director of C.A.T.S. Student-Athlete Development. "It was really inspiring and energizing to see so many student-athletes on the call taking intentional steps to build their network and set themselves up for a successful transition out of college. I am grateful for the entire Pac-12 Student-Athlete Development team for helping put together this event and look forward to programs like this in the future."
Various Pac-12 Student-Athlete Development professionals organized the event as a way for student-athletes to have the chance to meet and talk to professionals from all lines of work. The student-athletes were able to ask questions and get first-hand information on how to navigate the new job market with so many interviews being conducted virtually these days.
"This was a very valuable experience, I wish more places did things like this," UA women's swimming student-athlete Ayumi Macias said. "There were freshmen that took part in the event, and as someone who didn't have opportunities like this while I was younger, I think it's great that they can have these opportunities at a young age. As I have learned, there is always someone out there that can help you."
Over 220 student-athletes from across the Pac-12 took part in the networking event that featured over 45 companies. Following the event, each student-athlete said the experience was valuable to them as they prepare to enter their field down the road while over 90% of the student-athletes were able to connect with someone in a field of their interest.
"Networking is everything," said Mo Almarhoun, a member of the Arizona men's track and field program. "As student athletes, we always dream big, we watch those who succeed and want to be like them. Networking allows us to get to know them, ask how they got there. Each person has a different story, so by networking, we learn more than one way to achieve what we want."
Career networking events like this one are just one of the ways that the C.A.T.S. program at the University of Arizona helps to provide the resources to develop the life skills needed to lead a healthy, positive and productive life following graduation.
"The event showed me that Arizona and C.A.T.S. has prepared me well as a student-athlete to face what is next," Almarhoun, a Chemical Engineering major, said. "It also allowed me to connect with people from other schools that were in the engineering field, which is really cool. Coming from Saudi Arabia and getting this opportunity means the world to me."