Oakland University

01/27/2023 | News release | Archived content

Athlete Career Combine connects student-athletes with employers

Student-athletes and employers from around the state convened at Oakland University this week for the Athlete Career Combine hosted by the Michigan Career Educator and Employer Alliance (MCEEA).

Joe Bamberger, (left) founder and managing partner of Emerge Consulting, and Ian Caullay, director of employer relations for career services in OU's School of Business Administration. Caullay is the current president of the Michigan Career Educator and Employer Alliance and Bamberger is the incoming president.

The event connected student-athletes from Oakland University and other Michigan colleges with employers across various sectors, including sports management, healthcare, finance, government and education. Nearly 30 employers were represented at the event, which was held in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms on OU's main campus.

Ian Caullay, director of employer relations for career services in OU's School of Business Administration and current MCEEA president, helped organize the combine in collaboration with MCEEA and OU's Department of Athletics.

"We have an initiative called MCEEA Moving Forward, which is about trying to get particular cohorts of talent connected to employers across the state," said Caullay, who has been involved with MCEEA for the past six years. "This Athlete Career Combine is a part of that effort."

Student-athletes spent the evening networking and learning about career opportunities with statewide and national employers. They included the Detroit Pistons and Tigers, Henry Ford Health, Northwestern Mutual, Belle Tire, Michigan Department of Corrections and Ferndale Schools, to name a few.

OU graduate student and baseball player Gabe Lux attended the event to learn about career options as he prepares to graduate this spring with a Master of Arts in Biology.

"I think the biggest key for me was just getting a broad spectrum of the different types of opportunities employers have to offer," said Lux. "I think it's beneficial to get an understanding of different companies and what they offer so you can focus on what your interests are and build your career from there."

Ashley Stone, associate athletic director for student-athlete experience, added that student-athletes are particularly marketable to employers due to the skills and experiences they gain in the classroom and on the athletic fields.

"The National Association of Colleges and Employers reaches out to companies to find out the top attributes and skillsets they value in new hires, and it's all the transferrable skills that student-athletes have," she shared. "It's written and verbal communication, a team mindset, strategic thinking, taking initiative, following through and overcoming adversity. All those attributes translate into student-athletes being amazing employees across many different industries."