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Career presenters Blair Fish ’95, rear left,
and Tim Walsh, center, speak to student-athletes
at the recent career night.

​Student-Athletes Get Career Advice on Turning ‘Pro’

NCAA statistics reveal that 97 percent of student-athletes who compete in college will turn pro in something other than athletics.

Helping to ease the transition from student-athlete to future employee was made a bit easier as the Providence College Department of Athletics, in conjunction with the Career Education Center and the Office of Academic Services, held its fourth Student-Athlete Career Night.

The event in Slavin Center ’64 Hall was sponsored by Yvette M. Boisclair, Esq. ’84 and Mark S. Mandell, Esq., whose generosity brought the career program to life four years ago.

Nineteen professionals — including 12 alumni — representing various fields networked with and provided career advice to more than 100 Friar student-athletes from the junior and senior classes. The evening kicked off with a video from former field hockey standout Kerianne Murphy ’10, whose experience at Career Night two years ago helped lead to her career as an analyst at EMC.

Following the video, Mandell addressed the student-athletes, emphasizing, “Regardless of how much money you make, you are not truly wealthy until you give back.” He stressed the importance of networking and being receptive to the guidance offered by the professionals in attendance.

The student-athletes received one-on-one advice from professionals representing everything from the financial services industry to the education arena, as they dined together in Slavin Center ’64 Hall.

A relevant, valuable experience

The ability to network over a meal is something the student-athletes appreciated.

“It was great to have the opportunity to talk to people who have knowledge in our prospective fields of interest,” said Kerry Ann O’Connor ’14 (New Rochelle, N.Y.), a women’s soccer player. “Being seated at tables with career professionals could have been an intimidating experience, but everyone made me feel comfortable, and the advice I received is invaluable.”

O’Connor especially enjoyed hearing the mentors recount how they persevered and succeeded despite the trials they faced along their respective career paths.

“Hearing the stories from professionals with varied backgrounds helped me realize that there are many possible paths to get to the same destination,” she said. “It is important to develop and sustain relationships along the way; you can learn as much about yourself as you can others.”

Bryan Annecchino ’14 (Darien, Conn.), a member of the men’s lacrosse team, was grateful for the opportunity to network and seek counsel from industry leaders.

“The knowledge we received was beneficial to all the student-athletes in attendance. The alumni and staff offered career advice that will help to distinguish ourselves from others in the workplace,” said Annecchino.

Second-year Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ed Cooley served as the keynote speaker and walked the guests through his career from a high school coach to PC. Cooley spoke about appreciation and the importance of creating relationships that will open doors in the future.

The master of ceremonies for the event was Robert G. Driscoll, Jr., associate vice president for athletics and athletic director. The evening concluded with women’s softball player Marie Flego ’14 (Little Silver, N.J.) speaking on behalf of her fellow student-athletes.

In addition to sponsoring the Student-Athlete Career Night, Boisclair and Mandell have established an endowed scholarship fund and two immediate-use scholarships to assist student-athletes in need. In appreciation of their support, they were presented a framed picture, autographed by the student-athletes who attended Career Night.

 

— John Larson

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