Wow!! What a first 6.5 months it has been!
When I first accepted my job at Maryland, I knew it was going to be a grind. Late nights during the week. Work on some weekends. Revamping and creating curriculum to help Maryland student-athletes become career-ready. The job description was very accurate. Though what I did not know was how much fun I would have during the process. And whether you are following my journey on my IG or not, let me tell you…
I AM HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!! 🙂
I was going to wait to write this piece after my first full year on the job, but I chose to author it now for two reasons:
- Tomorrow is never promised.
- I am trying to be more intentional to celebrate success during the process.
So it is Wednesday, July 24. I have officially completed my first semester as a full-time professional as a staff member in Maryland athletics. I work on the best team in the world who believes in leading by example and serve the most phenomenal college athletes in the country. Despite being mistaken for a student a few times, I could not have asked for a more perfect role to start my career in higher education at a Research I, Power 5 institution close to the nation’s capitol.
COME BACK, BARACK!
The Maryland Made program is grounded with six pillars: career readiness, diversity and inclusion, mentorship, leadership and character education, community outreach, and personal development. As the Program Director for Career Development, I prepare student-athletes to courageously pursue their evolving career goals through experiential education, inimitable exposure opportunities, and meaningful work experiences. Translation – I do everything in my power and control to help them “secure the bag post-graduation” as they transition to life after competition.
One example of meaningful work experiences exist in our signature InTERPship Academy. (Cute name, right?!) This summer internship program is designed to help student-athletes explore their interests, develop professional skills, and cultivate mentorship relationships. Student-athletes work 20 hours/week around their athletic and academic schedules, while completing educational assignments that help them reflect on their work experiences and become more equipped to manage their career after they graduate from Maryland. This summer, 20 student-athletes from across 11 sports worked in Maryland athletics, non-profit organizations, construction companies, and Fortune 500 companies.
Taylor Wilson, Maryland Made programming intern, tries kombucha for the first time
Drinking overpriced, organic, freshly squeezed juice with Emma Johnson, Maryland Made marketing and branding intern
To be honest, I never saw myself working as career readiness professional until I saw this job posting last September. I was determined to work in leadership development, whether it was in a college athletics department or division of student affairs. Over the last 9 months, I realized that career readiness was not something what I wanted to do, but a purposed assignment I was born to fulfill. I was destined before birth to work in this functional area, which sounds wild to say aloud, but extremely evident when reflecting on my own undergraduate experience and why I decided to create this website three years ago.
I literally get paid to walk in my life’s purpose, while serving others to do the same. Nothing but God.
So today I celebrate how much I have developed as a leader and how far we have come as a Maryland Made team over the last 6.5 months. But our best is yet to come. In August, we will socialize the incoming first-year students into our programming, while launching the new Gossett Fellows Program and empowering SAAC to be the change they wish to see in their community. Our IMPACT mentorship program will be in full force and student-athletes take advantage of the diverse service learning opportunities through our Share the Shell initiative.
The Maryland Made team is on the move and we are having fun along the way. Make sure y’all follow @MDMadeTerps (IG and Twitter) and walk with us throughout our journey.
Encourage somebody to be great today!