LIU Post Athletes Score Top Internships
Rita Langdon,Associate Provost for Communications, Public Relations & Marketing
Long Island University, LIU Post
Anyone who follows college sports knows that LIU Post’s athletic programs consistently produce national, regional and conference champions, but they might not realize that the campus's scholar-athletes also are dominating the competition in career circles, landing internships at top companies and organizations.
“Our scholar-athletes bring to the workforce a special blend of mental agility, determination and teamwork; their skills are easily transferrable from the sports field to the board room,” said Jason Cascone, director of Career Services at LIU Post in Brookville.
LIU Post prides itself on coaching and educating more than 500 athletes in 15 NCAA Division II varsity sports, from football to soccer to basketball to swimming, making sure that they are prepared to succeed in their sports, in the classroom and in life. “The motto of the LIU Post Pioneers is ‘teamwork makes the dream work’,” said Bryan Collins, director of athletics and head football coach. “While we want our players to work hard on the field or the courts, we place a great deal of emphasis on building character and imparting skills like determination that they can apply to other parts of their lives, whether it be classroom studies, interactions with professors and peers, community service projects or careers.”
Psychology major Karina Fleming, 20, who plays for the LIU Post field hockey team, interned for 12 weeks this summer at Cornell Midtown Treatment Center in New York City. A member of the LIU Post Honors Program, Fleming hopes to build a career helping victims of drug and alcohol abuse to overcome their problems and stabilize their home environments. Her recent internship included assisting a support group for people facing alcoholic and drug dependencies, and area of counseling she wishes to pursue upon graduation.
Fleming was alerted to the position by LIU Post’s Career Services Office. “I have learned so much as both a player and now as an employee,” said Fleming, who is minoring in criminal justice. “I had the opportunity to sit in on sessions with patients and observe psychologists working to help people overcome their problems.”
After graduating this May, she plans to enroll in a doctoral program in clinical psychology and to specialize in helping individuals with persistent mental health issues to acclimate to society. Her supervisor at Cornell Midtown Treatment Center, Carlos Salinas, said that Fleming has an amazing leadership style. “Karina's work ethic and determination to get a task done was tremendous,” Salinas explained. “She is a team player, which stems from, in my opinion, her skills as a student-athlete. He added, “She worked great with others and took the lead when she needed to. I'm sure she will be successful with any path in life she chooses to take."
Brandon Clark says that his training in lacrosse changed him as a person. At only 21-years-old, the LIU Post athlete has completed three internships, one of which has turned into full-time work. An economics major, he currently works as a junior sales representative at Great Oceans LLC, one of the largest purveyors of fresh tuna and swordfish on the east coast.
“I have completed three internships during my time at LIU Post, and I credit the skills I learned in my economics classes and the drive I gained from playing lacrosse as a large part of my success,” said Clark. A few months ago, his work at Big Blue Ocean impressed his superiors to the point where they hired him to work at their sister company, Great Oceans LLC, based in Jericho, N.Y. Prior to Big Blue Ocean, he worked as an intern at Oppenheimer & Company, conducting individual stock research, market research and analysis, and monitoring stock earnings. Using his physical and quick-thinking skills, he has also served on the Smith Point Ocean Rescue Team at the Suffolk County Department of Parks and Recreation for the past six years.
Clark has a long list of academic accomplishments he achieved even while balancing sports with studies. He is a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honor Society in Economics, he was named to the LIU Post Dean’s List for a high grade point average, and he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
Wantagh resident Tim Bradley, a goalie on the LIU Post lacrosse team, started an internship three weeks ago at Lacoste, one of the world’s largest apparel corporations. He learned about the position through LIU’s Post online bulletin, JobNet, and has been working a few days a week at the company’s U.S. headquarters in New York City. A student in the accelerated B.S./M.B.A. program in business, Bradley is interning with the vice president of the Visual Department, which manages the architectural renderings and blueprints for Lacoste’s retail stores and boutiques in North America.
“As an athlete, I learned about time management, especially when it comes to juggling a heavy game schedule and practice with school work,” said Bradley. “As a goalie, you need to be vocal and learn to be a leader. When I am at the office I don’t have a problem with taking the initiative. If I see that something needs to be done, I don’t have to be told to do it. I know instinctively to move ahead to achieve the goal.”
Erin Lawney, a tennis player, also benefited from the skills she learned on the court. The music education major recently completed her student-teaching at two elementary schools and a middle school in the Port Washington School District. Lawney’s passion for music has been developed with the resources she has access to at LIU Post. She is a pianist for the LIU Post Orchestra, a clarinetist for the Wind Symphony and a trumpet player for the Pep Band – the latter enabling her to combine her passions for music and sports by playing at all home football games. Between music classes, public concerts and tennis tournaments, she learned to balance her time. “That is one of the important things that sports teaches you,” she said. “You need to have precise time management skills to keep your many interests on the right track.”
From little league to high school track, athletes learn from an early stage to balance their time and energy, and they develop drive and the ability to work as part of a team, making them naturally attractive to hiring managers. Studies show that scholar-athletes command greater attention from prospective employers.
“Even from a physical point of view, student-athletes have the natural stamina to work in fast-paced, pressured environment,” said Dr. Nana Koch, associate professor in LIU Post's Department of Health, Physical Education and Movement Science. “They tend to eat healthier foods, exercise regularly and have the energy and mental agility to succeed in everything they do. This supports the research suggesting that students who are more fit perform better academically. Taking this idea a step further, we might be able to say that physically and mentally fit people also do better in the workplace."
According to LIU Post’s long-time field hockey coach Raenee Savin, the mind of the college athlete is like no other. “In order to be a member of a team, they know that teamwork is first and foremost the most formidable skill you need,” she said. “That is why so many athletes get great jobs out of school. They know how to be a leader and how to follow a leader. They have the drive to set goals and accomplish those goals no matter the setting.”
For more information about the Pioneers experience, visit the LIU website at www.liu.edu/post/pioneers or see the teams in action at home games, including Homecoming on Saturday, October 19 at 1 p.m. at Hickox Field. Tickets can be purchased in advance at 516-299-2263.
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