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2016 R.E.B.S Life Skills Seminar

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Five former student athletes spoke during a R.E.B.S. Life Skills seminar to current student-athletes giving them helpful advice about “Life After Sports” at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on March 28.

The seminar was focused on the transition from being a student-athlete to entering the workforce and starting a career. The five, in various post graduation stages of theirs lives, spoke about their lives after they stopped being student-athletes. They gave advice and tips to student-athletes who are still in school. Toward the end of the seminar there was an open discussion where student-athletes were able to ask the panelists questions.

The audience was comprised mostly of UNLV athletes. A large portion of the audience were the UNLV cheer, dance and POM teams. Also in attendance were a couple of tennis players, track and field athletes and soccer players. There was total of 30 people at the seminar. The opener was Jamie Barnard, who organizes all the R.E.B.S. Life Skills seminars.

Being a student-athlete is a full time job. Once those students are done with the sport and have a degree under their arm, they have find a job that might not be connected with their sport. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they will find an amazing job. This is where the struggle comes and the speakers talked about how students have to be open minded for job/career options, which might not be their dream jobs.

Another pointer was how student-athletes have to make connections with people during college; who are not their teammates. “All my friends were from the team and once I graduated I realized that I have no other friends and connections, so it is a smart idea to reach out to other people and build your network while you are in college,” said David Carroll, a former baseball player.

Another topic was how hard it is for student athletes, to leave their “athlete” title behind and enter the real world like a normal person, who doesn’t have the privilege to be known as an athlete at a certain college. Once athletes finish playing their sport, they have to establish themselves again, because their sport is no longer their job.

According to Ashli Holland, the resume is one of the biggest advantages to have when you apply for a job and often as a student-athlete, your resume says “UNLV student-athlete,” and no other experience. She emphasizes that student athletes have to get involved in different communities and jobs in campus, to build a strong resume.  
“Don’t feel that you have to know right a way what you want to do, because this is a long journey,” said Marissa Nichols, who is a former UNLV softball player as well as the original creator and coordinator of the R.E.B.S. Life Skills program. She emphasized how student-athletes will face different opportunities and failures, but at the end almost everybody finds what they like.

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