BATON ROUGE – The Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes held its Networking 101: Working Your Brand program earlier this week for all junior and senior student-athletes.
This program was created to stress the importance of personal branding, appropriate business attire for interviews and ultimately for learning how to present themselves in the job hunt before this year’s Career Symposium, which will be held on April 9.
Dr. Shirley White, consultant for CCACSA media training and professional branding, started off the program by stressing the importance of a first impression. Dr. White explained how to dress appropriately for an interview, how to brand yourself, how to create business cards and how to make the best introduction to future employers.
“Dr. White gave us all great tips and ideas on how to present ourselves to the public and future employers,” senior swimmer Andrew Muller said. “Being that I am a senior, I am looking forward to the Career Symposium and how these experiences will help me toward my future. Like LSU Legend, Rudy Macklin reiterated to us we have to keep expanding our skills, because life past sports nothing is guaranteed.”
Macklin, LSU basketball’s all-time leading rebounder, ended the program with a personal testimony. He is currently the director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, but he did not have the easiest time getting there.
Macklin stressed to the student-athletes that it is more than just playing professional sports. He played professional basketball for four seasons until he was told he could never play again. Through perseverance and hard work, Macklin got to where he is today. His key message was never stop learning and always keep expanding your skill sets.
“Over the past 30 years, I must have delivered hundreds of speeches to various audiences throughout the state and most of the country,” Macklin said. “But I can truly say with all sincerity, that none of my past speeches will remain in my mental skies more than me addressing LSU’s student athletes about the importance of establishing their ‘brand’ before graduating. I hope that my words, my experiences will help prepare them for the greatest competition they will ever face outside of collegiate sports: the workforce.”
“Dr. White and Mr. Macklin were not only outstanding examples of what professional success is all about but they also offered some very thought provoking and personal advice to the students,” Kydani Dover, CCACSA manager of student learning and learning specialist said. “They collectively shared with students the importance of making a good first impression, building your skill set and preparing to persevere in an environment far more competitive than their field of play.”
“What Rudy said was very inspirational and motivational,” baseball catcher Ty Ross said. “It really makes me think about my career after sports.”