Student-athletes explore career opportunities
It's a necessity for members of the Millikin University Women's Basketball team to stay on campus during winter break for practices and games.
Lori Kerans, head coach of the Big Blue Women's Basketball team, believes that her student-athletes are getting a head start on landing a job upon graduation during their time on campus over winter break. Kerans directed every player to take an opportunity and gain knowledge in their field of study between practices and games throughout winter break.
Nine women's basketball players of various majors, from nursing to pre-physical therapy, headed to St. Mary's Hospital in Decatur, Ill., to shadow professionals in hopes of making connections and improving their understandings of their desired fields.
Senior captain and nursing major Alyssa Saklak, from Schaumburg, Ill., has taken advantage of these opportunities throughout her career at Millikin, making connections that she believes will aid in her job search.
Other players have taken on different challenges including sophomore athletic training and sports management double major Maxine Krol, a sophomore from New Lenox, Ill. Krol traveled to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to learn about the compliance of Division I athletics.
Reflecting on the experience, Krol said, "I gained a lot of insight and although I don't know exactly what I would like to do with sports management quite yet, I know I want to work with athletes, hopefully at the Division I level."
Kerans thinks these experiences have been crucial in the successes of her former players.
"It gives me chills just thinking about how much fun my student-athletes are having," Kerans said. "To provide student-athletes with opportunities to help them succeed after college is one of the greatest things they can be given."