Many college athletes dream of continuing their athletic careers after graduation. At NYU, however, because athletes compete at the Division III level, fewer students have the opportunity to move on to professional leagues than their counterparts at other schools. It is certainly possible for Division III athletes to play professionally, especially since NYU has one of the best Division III programs in the country. However, student-athletes typically choose NYU because they want to participate in athletics while also preparing for a career in the workplace.
Stern senior and swimmer Allegra Ingerson will be working as a consulting analyst for Accenture after she completes her degree.
“I’m entering as a general analyst, so I won’t be assigned to any specific industry or begin to specialize until a little later,” Ingerson said. “Basically I will be assigned to a client company and will be part of the team providing that company with management solutions, restructuring, future advice, etc.”
Ingerson has been a member of the swim team for all four of her years at NYU and has earned numerous academic and athletic accolades, including an All-American Honorable Mention in the 2014-15 season. She believes her time as a student-athlete has positively impacted her future career prospects.
“After balancing eight practices a week and a full class load, I now have excellent time management and I have learned how to complete work efficiently,” Ingerson said. “Being on a team has also supplied me with great interpersonal skills and the ability to operate both individually and in a group setting.”
Stern senior and men’s soccer player Michael Cheaney also believes that sports experience helps when searching for potential job prospects.
“Especially being a senior, I learned a lot about leadership with the younger guys on the team,” Cheaney said. “[I liked] getting to see how it is to be a leader, and comparing it to when I was a freshman and a sophomore, when I followed a lot of older people on the team. To see the difference in that four years set me up to look at a workplace where I was going to get that same kind of leadership or mentorship that I tried to give the younger [players].”
Cheaney will be working in Internal Audit at Citibank after graduation. His main responsibilities will include sitting at different desks in the institutional clients group and increasing the bank’s operational efficiency.
While not all will go on to play at a professional level, that doesn’t stop them from incorporating sports into their careers. 2016 SPS graduate and women’s soccer alum Melissa Menta is a player marketing and hospitality coordinator under Football Operations for the NFL. She works directly with agents and players to make sure players’ needs are taken care of, such as flights, itineraries and meals. Menta also coordinates with the NFL Player Association to process contracts for Super Bowl appearances and keeps track of event metrics.
Menta is a decorated player and holds several records from her time on the soccer team. She also held the number one spot for points, points per game and assists for the team’s scoring career stats.
“Playing soccer at NYU made pursuing a career in sports an obvious choice for me,” Menta said. “I knew I wouldn’t be playing forever, but sports was my passion. Aside from developing my teamwork, leadership and listening skills, playing soccer prepared me to work in player marketing because I understand the athlete’s perspective. There are certain things only athletes can truly understand and relate to.”
Ultimately, the NYU Athletics experience prepares students to excel in both the athletic and workplace domains. Players not only benefit from the companionship and competitiveness that come with being a team member, but also acquire valuable skillsets that help them master life after the final whistle.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 21 print edition. Email Maddie Howard at [email protected]