Varsity Athletes: How to Sell Yourself in Interview?

Being on Varsity Sports team will almost inevitably be brought up in interview / networking calls. To those who played in college, what were some of the skills you built into your personal narrative or things you made sure to highlight in your behavioral stories?

Comments (8)

LBOtopboy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

1) Teaches you how to have grit and run through walls to make sure your team wins / succeeds (very similar to running through walls as an intern with a difficult task)

2) Teaches you how to work well in teams when stakes are high + cooperate with others who may be stressed / have intense personalities(very similar to working on a live deal with a full execution team)

3) Provides you a sense of endurance and a long term view on the bigger picture (ie. you're preparing in the offseason in the spring for a fall sport) - very similar in banking where endurance is needed and to have a long term bigger picture view of a deal / transaction is an impressive quality of an intern

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rallyally, what's your opinion? Comment below:

First thing might not be popular but honestly be humble. I've seen a lot of Athletes get amazing opportunities, but also shoot themselves in the foot. 

Whether networking, or in interview not everyone is going to connect with your background in Athletics. I played D1 Tennis and I mentioned it because it was a big passion of mine and a huge part of my life, but it would be crazy to expect every single person to connect with me over that point. Sometimes the fact that I played leads to a huge connection, but sometimes people are just not going to be into the fact that you were an athlete and you are going to need to move on quick.

Despite what I've said, The people that are passionate about what you are passionate can become huge advocates for you. Thats why your plan should be to quickly figure out is this a connection point where mentioning it really lights up the other person in the conversation, or should I just briefly mention it and move on (maybe to something more academic or a bit more heady) if they don't ask any questions regarding it. Make sure you don't come across as a one-dimensional athlete.

Really all I ever needed to say about skills gained from being an athlete is that its hard. Most people can appreciate that doing 2 things full time in college is hard, and if you are humble but you stress the fact that it was a difficult balancing act you don't really need to spend much time on the "skills" that are transferrable. (Most people are going to understand that it takes a lot of determination, a lot of discipline, and will be automatically impressed if you are a scholarship student that also managed to come out with good grades. 

I should also mention that some people will have preconceived notions about you as an Athlete (Just like we judged non athletes). Either you aren't intelligent, or you took easy ass classes, or your some premadonna. IB is an industry that generally looks pretty favorable on athletes, but even in this industry there are some that will automatically pre-judge you when they learn that information. Make sure you aren't judging others for not being athletes (I have met so many athletes that tend to associate with only atheletes, but also protect yourself from the judgement of others: make sure to have athetics be a part of your personality and story - but not the full part of the story. Know the move on based on the audience to what makes you an interesting person. 

Lastly I should mention that you may not be accustomed to hearing this, but your program matters. NESCAC athletes do really well for themselves. I was PAC-12 tennis so I had a bit of glamor attached and was mainly talking to the west coast guys from stanford and CA schools. Depending on your program really does have an impact on your audiences perception to some degree. 

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Roberto Baird the Vth, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Well, I'll tell ya one daggone thing here misser. If you're really fixin' ah get down with the get down, an' go round and round, Roberto W Baird is yer friendly neighborhood barn. 

I tell ya just las' week I ran a whole daggone sell-side process for my little Ginnie's roadside Corn-Aid stand. It's like lemonade but with corn. Sheesh, Billy Bob Joe Thornton the III paid lil' Ginnie from Ohio a whole daggone tractor wheel and a pack of Newports. Golly geez I oughta thank the lord tonight for all my blessins. 

  • 1
Huple, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Your best case scenario is that whoever you're talking to plays or follows that sport, so you can connect about what's going on recently in that world. Extra bonus if you know some of the same people. Gives you an easy tick mark on the "build rapport" box. Beyond that making your application revolve around sport doesn't really reflect maturity.

It reflects really well on you if you've ticked all the other boxes, ace your technicals, and are as well-prepared as anyone else the interviewer is talking to. Not so much if you clank some questions but know a ton about, like, field hockey.

CharlesCheese, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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jenkinscooper, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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