Career Success: Unlocking the Student-Athlete Advantage

Being a student-athlete isn’t just about playing a game while in college. It’s a crash course in essential life skills. In this article, we’ll explore how being a student-athlete can benefit you and give you a leg up in internships and job hunts.

Building Valuable Soft Skills: Playing sports teaches you more than just the rules of the game. It teaches skills like discipline, dedication, time management, teamwork, leadership, and goal setting. In your interviews, make sure you express how being a student-athlete your entire life has taught you those skills, as they are like gold to employers and will make you stand out from other “regular” students.

Ability to handle pressure: employers aren’t just interested in your GPA, they want someone who can handle multiple things happening at once, and still be able to perform. Remember that time you had practice late at night but still had to finish an assignment before midnight AND study for an exam the day after? Somehow, you figured it out, and still got a good grade on the exam! Without making excuses, at 10 PM you put your nose down and got it done. That is what employers want, someone who instead of complaining and asking for an extension, just gets it done.

Teamwork and Leadership: Whether it’s working in a team to reach a common goal in sports or working on a project for school, being a student-athlete shows you can play well with others, a quality employers highly value. Plus, your experience in sports gives you a head start in understanding how teams function, you probably had to handle situations where a teammate was not doing their best and you had to pick them up or had an argument with a teammate and had to find a way to agree. Those are all possible scenarios that might come up in an interview.

Facing challenges Head-On: Life isn’t always a win, and sports teach you that. Overcoming injuries, losses, and resolving team conflicts are experiences that show employers that you are resilient, adaptable, and determined to find a way to get it done.

So, when preparing for your next interview, or working on your resume, think about how being a student-athlete helped you grow, and how it shaped you into who you are today. Don’t be afraid to use those experiences to your advantage and to differentiate yourself from other candidates!

If you would like to know more or have questions on how you could showcase your skills on your resume or in an interview, feel free to email me ( or schedule an appointment here.

Oliver De Croock ’24, Student-Athlete at Lawrence University majoring in Economics and Data Science. Oliver works as a Career Peer Educator at the Career Center and is the President of the Lawrence University Business Networking ClubConnect with Oliver on LinkedIn.