From Student Athlete to the Real World

What do athletes do once they graduate?

Hank Pender



There are over 460,000 NCAA student athletes nationwide. Less than 2% of those athletes will go on to play professional sports. I was interested to see what the other 98% do in order to prepare for life after sports. It seems as if every other week we hear about NCAA violations. Whether it be poor academic standing as a player or entire team, many athletes do not take academics as seriously as they should. With all of the time student athletes dedicate to school, practice, and social life, I was interested as to what they do to get some experience while they are still in school.

I had originally planned on doing my audio package on a charity softball tournament. I had all of my materials ready to edit. However, I ended up losing my media card, so all of my work was lost. At that point, I was not going to be able to get the interviews or nat sound again, so I had to think on my feet. I ended up choosing this topic because it revolves around sports which is something I have always had a passion for.  I have always realized that student athletes can use their background to an extent, but surely employers look for more than that. I wanted to figure out for myself how they prepare for life after college, and that is what I did.

I originally wanted to make my project of an event, as nat sound and a storyline would be easy to find. I ended up getting actualities from a charity softball tournament, but ended up losing my media card. I ended up having to think on my feet for a new topic. This one isn’t necessarily the most exciting, but it was a subject where I would be able to get interviews in time. I did not originally plan on this, but the storyline of the package ended up being about how athletes use their athletic lifestyle in order to prosper after college. I am not sure if that’s how the audience will take it, but that is how I did. Having had less than two days to complete everything, I was not able to critique every aspect of my work. I think that it is apparent that if I had more time, I could have produced a much better final product. I have become a little frustrated with myself this semester, as I feel a lot of my work could be better. I do not think the narration or audio in general was very good. I have always been my biggest critic, and am not too proud of this piece. However, I am proud of myself for thinking on my feet and still getting this completed on time. What I lacked in the final product, I made up for by learning how to work under pressure to meet a deadline. My final package can be seen here.

The script for this package can be seen here:










Take SOT: Anthony Milazzo










Take SOT: Emily Wickstrom


















TAKE AUDIO PKG FULLTRACK 1With hours of practice, class, and study hall each week, every second a student athlete has is precious.

Student athletes often find themselves a step behind when it comes to job experience come graduation. That was not the case for U of I senior pitcher Anthony Milazzo. For the first time in as long as he can remember, he wasn’t able to play baseball over the summer…so he used his free time to land an internship with JP Morgan Chase. Milazzo says that his baseball background played a factor in landing the internship. (:28)

TAKE SOT Anthony Milazzo

“I like to stay dedicated to everything I’m committed to. Having had a rigorous schedule since I’ve been at Illinois, it helped me develop a strong work ethic, and I’m not sure if I would have gotten that opportunity without baseball helping me along the way.” (:14)



University of Illinois Career Center assistant director Emily Wickstrom says that student athletes can use their athletic backgrounds and achievements as a tool to get a job post graduation. (:09)

TAKE SOT- Wickstrom

“The leadership qualities these athletes gain in their four years here are usually qualities that employers look for. (:05)


U of I pitching coach Drew Dickinson says that work ethics developed from the time spent on the field translates well into the real world. (:08)

TAKE SOT- Dickinson

“You don’t become a division 1 athlete without having an outstanding work ethic. You can’t just coast by and expect success. These athletes have been grinding their whole life, and I don’t see why that wouldn’t translate to the real world” (:11)


TRACK 4So while some student athletes may be a step behind when it comes to real world experience come graduation, it is apparent that they develop real world skills that the regular student may not be capable of. So which student has the overall advantage? That’s for you to decide. Reporting for off the shelf online, I’m Hank Pender. (:15)

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