April 13, 2012
BERKELEY - Given the opportunity to meet with business professionals from top companies around the Bay Area, 60 California student-athletes attended the inaugural "Bears to Business" Student-Athlete Career Development Event on Tuesday, April 10, where they received advice to help prepare them for careers after college and sports.
"The `Bears to Business' event was a huge success," said Blake Sasaki, Associate General Manager of Cal IMG Sports Marketing, which organized the symposium in coordination with Cal Athletics Director of Student Affairs Allie Rowe. "It provided a win-win partnership by being able to engage our corporate partners, while providing a resource of industry knowledge and employment opportunities for our student-athletes."
After a reception, Cal Athletics Chief Operating Officer Solly Fulp presented as the keynote speaker for the event. The participants then broke into three breakout rooms that covered Sports and Business, Management and Leadership, and Business and Technology. Finally, everyone gathered together again for a post-event reception that closed the evening.
"They gave me a realistic expectation about what it will take to join the workforce once I graduate," men's soccer junior Kyle Lunt said. "I learned what to do to be prepared for an interview."
Businesses in attendance included representatives from Twitter, SanDisk, Electronic Arts, StubHub, ESPN, Southern Wine & Spirits, Marines, Target, AT&T, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Kaiser Permanente and Merrill Lynch.
"Cal has actively set out to prepare their student-athletes for the real world, whether that be in sports or business," said Steven Shepherd, the Human Resources Field Marketing Coordinator for SanDisk Corp. "The student-athletes were given a taste of different industries and how to channel their skills learned through sports into a potential position post-graduation."
The event was so well received by both the student-athletes and the sponsors that Rowe and Sasaki are looking to make this an annual event.
"The IMG staff did a fantastic job hosting this first-time event," Rowe said. "It will be an event that each of our student-athletes look forward to each year."
Companies that are interested in future "Bears to Business" events can contact Sasaki at Blake.Sasaki@imgworld.com.