— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) June 16, 2018
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was gameday at Ohio Stadium on a Friday night. In June.
This time, however, shoulder pads and helmets were traded in for suits, sport coats and ties. With resumes in hand, all members of the football team took part in the sixth annual Ohio State Football job fair, held inside the Huntington Club – three floors above the playing surface – at Ohio Stadium. The event attracted more than 100 human resource representatives from over 50 companies and a dozen business sectors.
The job fair, an idea of head coach Urban Meyer, has grown in size every year since 2013 and gives student-athletes an opportunity to refine the skills necessary to secure employment when their playing days are over. It also reinforces the many ways that Ohio State is giving its players “real life” application.
“This has become a very important core element of our program,” said Ryan Stamper, the Buckeyes’ director of player development and the program’s primary contact for the event. “One of the advantages of being at Ohio State and in Columbus is that we’re so close to corporate America. To be able to have the numbers of employers here from a cross section of different professions is very advantageous for our guys.”
As part of the preparation for Friday night, every player learned about resumes, their importance and had one ready to share. Everyone, including freshmen, was required to have a list of four business areas or interested that they would like to speak with representatives and learn more about.
“The networking begins tonight,” Stamper said. “The preparation will continue on a daily basis. Our young guys are making contacts while our older guys are refining their five and 10-year plans. This isn’t something we just talk about. We apply it.”
The lineup at Friday’s job fair read like a who’s who of corporate America: ESPN, Nationwide Insurance, JP Morgan Chase and Co., State Farm, IMG, WBNS-10TV, Wells Fargo and DSW – just to name a few.
The holistic approach that Meyer’s program takes to player development is also seen through job shadowing and internships, which the players have taken full advantage of. Just recently, consider the following:
• WR Binjimen Victor, QB Kory Curtis and DE Zaid Hamdan went on a ride-along with Columbus Police to gain insight on the law enforcement world.
• OL Michael Jordan is interning this summer with Munster Financial.
• CB Shaun Wade and SAF Jahsen Wint shadowed former player Dionte Johnson at Sole Classics, a sneaker, apparel and lifestyle shop.
• DL Jashon Cornell is interning with The Cenname Team, one of Merrill Lunch’s private wealth groups.
• SAF Jordan Fuller and WR CJ Saunders were in Washington, D.C. this past week visiting and learning more about operations with the NFL Players Association.
• QB Tate Martell and CB Jeffrey Okudah shadowed the Prime Social Group and learned about concert production and promotion.
• And DL Dre’mont Jones and Robert Landers spent a week in Bedford, New Hampshire interning with the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Prior to the start of Friday’s job fair, players in attendance heard from LB Cam Williams, who played for the Buckeyes from 2012 though 2015. While his playing days ended after his final season with the Buckeyes, he started his new career shortly thereafter in the scouting department with the New England Patriots. He attributes much of that to the “off the gridiron” services available during his time at Ohio State.