A pair of South Carolina student-athletes got a jumpstart on looking into their careers after sports by taking part in last week’s Southeastern Conference Career Tour in Atlanta. Graduate student Shahar Biran from the women’s tennis team and senior swimmer Gabi Reed were among the two-dozen student-athletes from around the SEC who took part in the eighth annual event November 28-20.
“As much as I love playing tennis, I’m thinking about my career after tennis,” said Biran who is from Israel and is working on a master’s in business administration after earning a degree in economics from Old Dominion. “As an international student, I want to stay in the U.S., so I’m trying to make connections and meet new people who could lead me to a job.
“It was really wonderful meeting a bunch of student-athletes from the other SEC institutions. They’re in similar situations to what I’m in. We also met former student-athletes who were able to land a job through the career tour and learn from them to see what they did to help themselves in that process.”
“I want to work in college athletics,” said Reed, who is studying sport and entertainment management. “Since it was being hosted by the SEC, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get my name out there and meet more people who work in the conference. I thought it would be good to make more connections and network for my future career.”
“The best part for me was having genuine conversations with people, especially with the other student-athletes that I met from the other schools because we were able to bond instantly as we had similar experiences even though we’re at different campuses.”
The goal of the career tour is to provide exposure for SEC student-athletes who are seeking career opportunities in various fields. The program allows student-athletes to connect with human resource recruiters and submit resumes for entry-level jobs, internships and gain valuable knowledge of professional branding. The group visited several corporate headquarters and met with executives in the Atlanta area including Mercedes Benz Stadium, Jackson Spalding, Microsoft, Learfield and Trilith Studios.
“My favorite part was going to Mercedes Benz Stadium and getting a tour,” Biran said. “We got the chance to see the Atlanta Falcons locker rooms and went on the field. We went to each company, and they held a panel where you could ask questions, and the people on the panel were former student-athletes themselves. It was interesting to know how they leveraged their experience as student-athletes and how they’re succeeding now in their careers.”
“The best part for me was having genuine conversations with people, especially with the other student-athletes that I met from the other schools because we were able to bond instantly as we had similar experiences even though we’re at different campuses,” Reed said. “The conversations I had with the corporate workers at the businesses we visited were really interesting. When you talk with them face to face, all they want to do is help you get to where they are.”
The Gamecocks hope the experience will help them in their future after sports.
“The biggest thing I took away from it was about leadership skills, and how to build relationships in a work setting,” Reed said.
“I definitely learned a lot, and I’m definitely going to stay in touch with all the people I met,” Biran said. “I’m going to use those connections and try to network as much as I can.”