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Good practice: Auburn athletes learn at Career Expo
Feb. 10, 2015 ShonColeman
Shon Coleman, left, speaks with former Auburn football players Zach Clayton, middle, and Brandon Cox of Ready Mix USA/Cemex at Career Expo

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Auburn track athlete Torrey Campbell is thinking about life after college. Maybe law school. Maybe commercial sales.

And he welcomes a chance to have connections in place.

That's why he was among 300 of his Auburn athletic friends who attended the university's Career Expo for athletes last week, an event that attracted about 55 companies that participated in seminars on, among other things, how to interview, and, if you wanted, a chance to talk career opportunities.

The night was one-stop-shopping for those interested.

"As a student-athlete, to be able to meet with this many employers at one time, with the difficult time schedules we have, is great. After this, we go to the real world," Campbell said.

Campbell said the Career Expo was like practice. "The biggest thing is how to handle yourself in the interview and how to make your resume standout. We are student-athletes and some of us can't do internships or have job experience, so learning how to sell yourself as a student-athlete is important."
The Career Expo was an event from the Auburn Tigers Career Development Office, whose mission is to create a network for student-athletes to connect with other student-athletes, mentors and recruiters in the business world, says the Auburn website. 

Auburn athletics encouraged participation during Career Expo.

Golfer Lakin Eddy was happy to make connections that night.

"We don't have a lot of work experience under our belts, so for Auburn to get these recruiters and talk to us and to give us an opportunity to make these connections in the work force is extremely important. It's great to see the student-athletes capitalize on it," she said.

"It's like in school when you get a practice test. You get a feel for it, you get comfortable with it and then you're ready to take the real thing. I think it's great because you can prepare yourself, and the more comfortable you are, the better you can come to any of these recruiters."

That's part of the driving force behind Career Expo, said Gary Waters, Auburn's Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Services.

"This is where they start networking and forming relationships with employers, and it's my experience that the more comfortable you are with the people conducting the interview, the better the interview tends to go. This is the start of that process for some of our student-athletes," he said.

"The employers see it as an opportunity to start forming relationships with the student-athletes. The employers will tell us that student-athletes turn out to be some of their best employees.  This allows them to get in front of some people who do a good job managing their time and truly understand the team concept."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:
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