Career advice from former student-athletes
Updated: Aug 17
According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), fewer than two percent of student-athletes become professional athletes. The remaining 98% start looking for their new passion, which is often their career. When you are used to a strict regiment, taking direction from great leaders and pushing yourself to do more, those skills can make you successful in all kinds of roles.
Hear from a few Stryker employees who were once student-athletes themselves and how they are putting their skills to work in new ways.
Megan James, Senior Principle Engineer
Swimming | Penn State
"College sports will have prepared you for the real world in ways you would never imagine. A few of those are:
Dealing with failure or set backs
Ability to balance multiple tasks at one time (just like sport and school!)
Ability to come together as a team to accomplish larger goals than you could do individually.
Ability to push through when the going gets tough.
I enjoy working with motivated, goal-oriented people. The people at Stryker continually inspire me to do my best and to raise my game.
Danielle Latt, MDM Analyst
Basketball | Evangel University
"I chose Stryker because of the strengths-based team environment fueled by competition and togetherness. My team is like the team I was a part of in college in that we work daily to win, prepare daily to perform annually, and are passionate about driving results.
My advice to current student-athletes who are about to enter the “real world” is to finish strong in school and sport, believe in your potential, focus on your strengths, and continue to implement team values in every position that comes your way!"
Casey Paus, Sales Enablement Manager
Football | University of Washington
"My advice to current student athletes is to have a plan! Not everyone can play sports professionally and it is hard to give up on that dream. Set a timeline for yourself around how long you are willing to “chase that dream” and stick to it. Too often, athletes do not set realistic expectations around their athletic careers and it leads to challenges when it’s time to join the “real world”. And most important of all…leverage your relationships. Use the exposure and opportunities you are afforded while being a student athlete to network with alumni, coaches, advisors, mentors, etc. You would be surprised how many former athletes and alumni want to help young athletes find success outside of sports!"
Shelby Burghardt, Senior Talent Brand Manager
Volleyball | Bridgewater State University
"From the very first interview to the first day on the job, it’s clear that the people at Stryker are passionate, motivated and talented. I knew right away that this was the type of culture that I wanted to be a part of.
Just like with my Volleyball team, my Stryker team and I spend a lot of time together working hard, but we also choose to have fun together outside of work, which makes working feel less like “work.” You will be working for 40+ years of your life… you should surround yourself with like-minded people you enjoy being with. I have found that here at Stryker."
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