CEO: Former athletes make great employees

- Transitioning from on the field to on the job can be a challenge. But recruiters say former college athletes can be great hires. Skills that make good athletes make good employees, too.

The secret playbook is out: companies love to hire college athletes.

"Often they've been on teams. They've performed under pressure, they have picked themselves up after failure," Gamechanger CEO Ted Sullivan said. "They tend to be very coachable."

Grace Mashore played basketball at Stanford. Now two years into her career at Gamechanger she has seen how the skills she learned as a student-athlete readily transfer from the locker room to the boardroom.

"The challenges are different, the obstacles are different," Mashore said. "And it might feel less comfortable, but internally it's sort of that indomitable will. It's that refusal to lose that pushes you through, even in business moments where you're not sure what that next step is."

But being unsure is all part of being a "rookie."

"Everyone comes out of school with relatively little experience. It's the name of the game," Mashore said. "Ultimately, it's the ability to figure out what you want, fight for it and like I said fake it 'til you make it, put a smile on your face, believe in yourself and that will get you in the door."

Once you're in, former professional pitcher Jeff Kamrath said it is about falling back on the work ethic.

"Being a utility player, to use a baseball term, is something that is of invaluable benefit to a company. Being able to do a little of everything, showing up early, staying late," Kamrath said. "I mean that's the classic baseball or sports example if you will, of just working hard. And showing yourself as a team player, as a contributor -- those are things that you can play up to."

It's not just about adding athletes to your companies roster, but when you can find prospective employees who demonstrate those same intangibles an athlete possesses, you'll find it to be a true gamechanger.
 

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