Kalamazoo College women's lacrosse player Leah Tardiff participated in the 2020 NCAA Career in Sports Forum May 27-29. Originally scheduled to be held in Chicago, the forum took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tardiff was one of nearly 400 juniors and seniors selected to participate across all three NCAA divisions.
The three-day forum is designed to prepare junior and senior student-athletes for a career after graduation. The forum helps student-athletes learn more about themselves as leaders by exposing them to projects requiring critical thinking as well as practical experiences that will strengthen their personal and professional skills and competencies.
"Attending the forum has given me a new drive for participating in a career in sports, shown me how the power of sport can really make a change, and has given me an in-depth view of different careers in sport," Tardiff said.
According to the NCAA's Career in Sports Forum web page, the forum covers topics such as self-awareness and its role in professional development, practical approaches to the sports job search, personal branding, developing a career plan, and managing yourself as a professional in the sports industry.
"I felt especially inspired by the closing speakers on each respective day - Ashleigh Huffman with the U.S. Department of State and Sports Diplomacy, Coach Yo the women's basketball coach for Ole Miss, and Mark Trumbo the assistant athletic director for Syracuse University. I felt especially motivated to find my 'why', explore what I'm passionate about, and take time to reflect within myself and what I find important, and how to translate that into not only my sport but also to life and beyond," Tardiff said.
"Although the conference took place virtually, I loved every second of it and made some great friends from around the country while in our virtual breakout rooms."
Leah is entering her senior year at Kalamazoo College this fall. She is an economics major from Plymouth, Mich. and a graduate of Salem High School.