Original article published by WMU Athletics at: https://wmubroncos.com/news/2022/10/26/general-broncos-empowered-hosts-career-fair-for-student-athletes.aspx
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The newly-created Broncos Empowered program put on its first event for Western Michigan student-athletes on Tuesday as it hosted a career fair.
In partnership with the WMU Career Center and the Michigan Career Educator & Employer Alliance (MCEEA), more than 30 employers from the Southwest Michigan area and beyond were in attendance, representing companies from a wide variety of fields, including healthcare, finance, education, sports and criminal justice. A total of 188 Bronco student-athletes gathered to meet with and learn about these employers as they look forward to their careers after WMU.
"It was great to see our student-athletes participating in the first Broncos Empowered program," Senior Associate Athletics Director, Broncos Empowered and Championship Culture Julian Jones said. "One of the reasons my role was created, was to provide opportunities and resources for our student-athletes to be prepared for life after sports, and this event was planned to do just that. I am so grateful to have been able to work with the Career Center and MCEEA to put this event on and bring 30 employers and 188 student-athletes together to allow them this opportunity to network."
"We have to be intentional about getting our student-athletes in front of the right people," Jones continued. "This was the first event of our four-year career and professional development plan, with a core values workshop and dining etiquette program scheduled for later this semester. I do this work to help develop our student-athletes holistically while being intentional, and I have received a ton of positive feedback already."
This was the first event for the Broncos Empowered program, with one of the main focuses of the program to promote the holistic development of Western Michigan student-athletes. This includes career development and graduate school prep, leadership development, personal development, financial education, community service, diversity and inclusion, personal brand management and NIL.
Tuesday's program was well-received by the student-athletes in attendance, who were eager to share their feedback about the event:
"The career fair helped me connect with great employers and receive some internship opportunities." – Vianney Durand, Redshirt junior Defender, Men's Soccer
"The student-athlete career fair was a great opportunity for networking and learning more about potential companies I could work for! I enjoyed speaking with real professionals in my major (Finance) and the different pieces of advice they had to offer!"
– Boone Bonnema, Redshirt sophomore Linebacker, Football
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to attend the career fair in order to network and branch out to set myself up for my future career."
– Karin Hamilton, Junior, Women's Tennis