Alumni, athletes discuss life after the Hall
The student-athletes of Seton Hall were given the opportunity to soak up some career advice from four of the school’s more successful alums.
The guest speakers that led the forum were Shannon Morris (B.A. ’92, M.A. ’94), a former Seton Hall swim team captain and executive at the Sigma Group, a New Jersey based marketing firm. ESPN anchor and host of the weekly ESPN series, “Outside the Lines, “Bob Ley (’76). Senior Managing Partner of Napier Park Global Capital, James O’Brien (’82) and AT&T’s Public Safety Solution Organization leader Bob Sloan (’86).
The purpose of this forum was for athletes to understand the benefits of having a mentor and developing leadership skills in corporate America.
This was outlined by Glenn Horine, Chief Revenue and Marketing officer for GLOBAL University sports properties, who also played the role of moderator in the night’s discussion.
Horine started the discussion with an introduction of the four alumni panelists and gave a brief overview of the agenda for the evening.
“Thinking forward as you’re looking at graduation…or looking ahead a couple years when you may graduate and looking at four very accomplished, very successful Seton Hall alums who can help provide some insight in what they were thinking about when they were exactly in your position,” Horine said.
Horine then got the ball rolling and asked the four panelists what their true dream job outside of their current careers would be. Ley responded saying that he is currently living the life of someone with a “dream job,” but if he really needed to make a decision he would want to settle down in a vineyard and try and make the perfect bottle of wine.
O’Brien also joked that while students might wish they were in the panelist’s position, the panelists are also envious of the students station in life.
The panelist continued to mix these personal aspirations and anecdotes with career advice.
“I would say being able to balance being a mother and being a business owner is something I’m very proud of on a daily basis,” Morris said. “That’s always something you strive for as a woman, to be able to have it all.”
The student-athletes were then given the chance to search for nuggets of wisdom from the four panelists. One athlete asked for advice in a job interview where the conversation almost obsessively comes back to her time as an athlete.
Sloan replied by saying to, “have points on there (a resume) that draw the people who are reading it to be interested in wanting to talk to you. And also what you want on the resume are things that you’re comfortable in talking about. So put some things on your resume to help you have a discussion above and beyond just being an athlete.”
Sloan also gave the advice regarding interviewing skills that the best way to practice a job interview is by continuously doing them and a place to find people that will interview, “just about anyone,” is with insurance companies.
Once the forum ended, the athletes and panelists were able to continue to mingle in the lobby of Walsh Gym.
“I think understanding that the Seton Hall student-athletes are very well-equipped,” Ley said. “The discipline …training that they have… in the skills that they have developed, both in the classroom and being able to have it coexist with the competition and managing their time, just reminding them to a large extent how well positioned they are.”
O’Brien saw the importance in giving back to his alma mater and hoped that this message was well received by the student-athletes. “One of the comments I just made to the kids is one of the advantages they have in being part of the athletic department is I think the athletic department does a lot to give them opportunities to give back,” O’Brien said.
The forum’s central message did not completely fall on deaf ears according to senior cross-country star Nyala Eddings. “I think it was very beneficial,” said Eddings. “The advice was endless and … it’s something that we can really appreciate and move forward to help us jumpstart our careers.”
Gerard Gilberto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.