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Dyson attends NCAA Career in Sports Forum
UMKC Athletics 6-17-2014
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During the first week of June, the NCAA hosted its annual Career in Sports Forum (CSF), a professional development opportunity that targets current student-athletes who are interested in growing a career in sports after college.  This educational forum gathers student-athletes from various institutions across the country to learn about what career opportunities athletics can provide after sport. Dahlia Dyson, a junior on the Track & Field team, was selected out of 1,100 student-athletes to be one of the 200 student-athletes to participate in the 2014 CSF that took place June 5th-8th at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. CSF brought in several guest speakers and provided interactive activities that allowed the student-athlete attendees to get to know each other. We took the time to ask Dyson a couple questions about what it was like to represent UMKC at the 2014 Career in Sports Forum:

Q: What was the most valuable thing that you learned at CSF?

"There are so many valuable things that I learned from the guest speakers and even my facilitators. For example, the Athletic Director of New York Institute of Technology said, 'Never judge someone by the opinion of others.' Anthony Calhoun, Sports Director of WISH-TV shared with us, 'There are always benefits when you make sacrifices and a career in sports has a lot of these instances.' These are statements that I will try to apply to ensure future success."

Q: Were you nervous to go to a conference where you would not know anyone?

"I was nervous about the networking aspect. When I used to think of networking it had a strong professional stigma, but in actuality, we network all the time by making friends, introducing ourselves or even being present. It turns out networking is not hard at all and it is the most beneficial part of business."

Q: What is one thing you learned that you feel is most important for student-athletes to know?

"We discussed Bob Beaudine's book, The Power of Who, but we discussed it is not who you know, it is who knows you. The Assistant Director of Social Media Strategy of NCAA came to talk to us about Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Facebook should be kept private for family and friends and whenever facebook is updated privacy settings go back to default. Twitter is a mix of personal and professional and can be used to follow those in your professional field. Don't be afraid to show your personality and it is okay to have twitter accounts. Lastly, LinkedIn strictly professional and should be used for networking. Kayci Woodley, Assistant Director of Social Media, shared that everyone should google their name to see what comes up."

Q: Why should student-athletes apply to participate in CSF or any other events similar to this?

"Student-athletes should go to the Career in Sports Forum because when you think of sports at UMKC it is in a micro-sense, then the United States, and in a macro-sense, all over the world. NCAA brought together DI, DII, and DIII student-athletes from schools I have never heard about along with the big time Arkansas' and Dukes. We did team building and learned together that it is okay not to know exactly what you want to do, but what we did know was it was a career in sports is what united us in the first place."

CSF allows student-athletes to network with other student-athletes all across the country as well as learn from several successful athletic professionals about their jobs and what it takes to be in athletics. Graduate Assistant in the Student-Athlete Support Services Office, Jessica Rizzi, described her excitement when Dyson was selected to attend the 2014 Career in Sports Forum, "I was excited to hear Dahlia was selected to attend the Career in Sports Forum. She worked extremely hard on her application and I thought she would make a great representative for UMKC. During my time as a student-athlete, I was selected to attend a Career in Sports Forum  where I was able to meet Ursula Gurney [Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations/SWA] which later helped get my foot in the door when applying for the graduate assistantship at UMKC. I think these professional development opportunities really give student-athletes a great opportunity to network not only with their peers, but with potential employers." Dyson impressivley represented UMKC Athletics, and showed her excitment and new passion to persue a career in sports.

For photos of Dyson's trip to CSF, go to SASSO's Facebook page.

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