K-STATE READIES STUDENT-ATHLETES FOR THE FUTURE
By Mark Janssen
Kansas State's student-athletes are prepared to succeed in competitions by their coaches, but the athletics department also has a goal to prepare those Wildcat players for their life after the final buzzer sounds on their career.
One step toward that mission happens on Thursday with the Career Cat Luncheon that will be staged at Bill Snyder Family Stadium with a luncheon, followed by mock interviews by roughly 40 potential employers that will come in from Manhattan, Topeka, Wichita and Kansas City.
"We expect to have around 45 juniors and seniors who are trying to prepare for that next step in life," said Kristin Waller, K-State's Life Skills Coordinator. "It will almost be like speed dating where an individual will talk with a potential employer for six or seven minutes, and then rotate to the next one. It really is a neat experience for them."
With each, there will be an opportunity to ask questions, and to go through mock interviews.
"If an employer has a possible internship available, or a job, that's fantastic," said Waller. That's a happy bonus. But the real purpose of the day is to start a conversation with potential employers and to learn what a potential interview process might be like. We hope this will ease that intimidation and uncomfortable feeling when those first job interviews really do take place."
A huge fan of the Career Cat Luncheon is K-State athletics director John Currie: "When we talk about a world-class student-athlete experience, one of the objectives is to prepare them for that next step in life, whether that's in graduate school or that entry-level job. This Career Cat Luncheon does exactly that."
Thursday's session is the culmination of a year-long process where the athletic department has worked hand-in-hand with the Career Employment Services department on the K-State campus.
Previous workshops have included former football player Dirk Ochs, who operates a Career Athletes business in Kansas City.
Other workshops included resume building, networking and what to wear and not wear in a job interview.
Started by coach Bill Snyder during his first tenure at K-State, unique to the Career Cat Day is the return of multiple Wildcat student-athletes who are now in the work force.
This year's line-up will include ex-basketball player Chris Merriwether of ConocoPhillips, former football players Brad Seib, who is now with Metropolitan Life, and Nick Warren with Commerce Bank, and former baseball player Daniel Dellasega, who now works for Koch Industries.
As a thank you from the department, all employers will be invited to attend the evening baseball game between Kansas State and Texas Tech.
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