Photo by Pavel Danilyuk:

Rutgers student-athletes have a plethora of resources at their disposal during their competitive years ‘On the Banks’ and Scarlet Knights For Life™ is adding one more tool to that arsenal. 
The newly launched Career Edge website helps connect current Scarlet Knights with former letterwinners and professionals, to guide them as they chart their new paths in the working world. The site is designed to connect employers with the most qualified and career-ready student-athletes. Employers in all industries such as health care, sport management, law enforcement, engineering, education, sales and marketing have the ability to post available internships and full-time jobs and make outreach directly to student-athletes.
Student-athletes possess traits like drive, determination and competitiveness which prove beneficial in their post collegiate careers and the Scarlet Knights For Life™ program shows how to draw on these experiences as Division I student-athletes. Employers have found great value in these characteristics and often express their positive experience with hiring student-athletes. The Career Edge website offers a seamless process for these two groups to connect and foster strong relationships.
Rutgers Athletics recently held its first-ever hiring event specifically for graduating student-athletes at the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Academic Success Center in March. The event invited employers with open positions onto campus to conduct interviews, allowing them to meet with multiple candidates in a shortened timeframe and supportive environment. Members of the Student-Athlete Development & Success department met with the student-athletes in advance, matched them with their preferred positions, and were present at the event along with colleagues from Academic Services and the R Fund.
This RU Hiring? event is an example of the many programs offered by Scarlet Knights For Life™ with the goal of preparing student-athletes for life after sport through networking and professional development.
“Our office takes every possible opportunity to connect letterwinners and professionals with our current student-athletes ,” said Carissa Liverpool, assistant athletic director for student-athlete development and success. “For the first time ever, we hosted a select group of employers at an in-person hiring event where graduating seniors had the opportunity to interview with several companies for full-time employment.
“The feedback has been tremendous, and we are excited for our next event in the fall. Thank you to all of the employers for making this incredible experience come to fruition for our student-athletes. Events like these wouldn’t happen without the support of letterwinners and professionals who appreciate the student-athlete experience and understand the value of having them as part of their organizations.”
“It was a pleasure and privilege to be part of the Rutgers student-athlete career event,” said Steve Black, regional manager at Stryker Endoscopy and Communications. “The student-athletes were extremely prepared and professional, which is a testament to Carissa and the rest of the team. The one-on-one time allowed me to learn more about each student-athlete and their strengths, passions and goals that will hopefully set them up for long term success at Stryker as they start a new chapter in their lives. It was an invaluable event for Stryker and our team as we look forward to building a long-term relationship at Rutgers and provide career paths for as many student-athletes as possible.”
Andrew Gapas, a senior with the wrestling program, participated in the March hiring event. Although it was his first time in an interview setting, he felt prepared with the help and support of Brett Miller, director for student-athlete development and success, who serves as the Scarlet Knights For Life™ liaison to the wrestling team. Andrew was able to go through in-person interviews and networking and moving forward, will have the Career Edge website as a resource to continue making connections with employers.
“Overall, I had a great experience with a lot of support,” said Gapas. “For me these interviews were the first interviews in my life, so I was nervous about how my resumé was, how I was going to be during the interviews, or if I had the confidence to conduct myself professionally. Luckily, I had the help of the Rutgers staff prior to and during the event, and they were very supportive and reassuring. It was a great experience; I would recommend others take the time to participate in these programs so they can practice their professionalism regardless of where they are in the job search process.”
Current student-athletes looking to be featured for hire on the Career Edge website are encouraged to schedule a meeting with their Scarlet Knights For Life™ liaison. Student-athletes will receive guidance on planning for a professional life following their playing careers, in addition to access to premium resources for all stages of their career development, including sample resumes, LinkedIn profile tips, and interview advice. Student-athletes can also register for upcoming University Career Exploration and Success and Scarlet Knights For Life™ events through the Career Edge site.

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