COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the most important events inside Ohio Stadium occurred on Friday night, and it didn’t involve helmets, shoulder pads or footballs. Instead, it featured resumes, business cards and suits.
Ohio State’s seventh annual job fair took place Friday evening, and it included more than 100 human resources reps and nearly 50 companies from over a dozen business sectors. The lineup read like a who’s who of corporate American: ESPN, Nationwide Insurance, IMG, WBNS-10 TV, Cardinal Health – just to name a few.
“There aren’t many cities in American where you can have this kind of turnout,” said Ryan Stamper, the Buckeyes’ Assistant Athletic Director of Player Development and the program’s primary contact for the event. “That’s one of the advantages of being located where we are – any career interest that our guys have, Columbus has too.”
The job fair, which began in 2013, has grown in size every year. It’s given student-athletes the opportunity to refine the skills necessary to secure job shadows, internships and even full-time employment. It’s become the culmination of Ohio State’s well-documented “Real Life Wednesdays” program that’s become the industry standard for personal and professional development.
Everyone, including freshmen, arrived on Friday night with a resume in hand. They were also prepared – each student-athlete was required to have a list of four business areas they were interested in learning more about. For the freshmen and sophomores, the evening was an opportunity to make initial contacts that will last for years to come. For the juniors and seniors, it was about refining their five and 10-year plans.
While the job fair is one of the premier events, it’s far from the only exposure Ohio State student-athletes have to the professional world. Consider:
• Five Buckeyes – Davon Hamilton, Justin Hilliard, Liam McCullough, Nicholas Petit-Frere and Shaun Wade – recently visited Orlando to learn about the inner workings of the WWE Performance Center.
• Teradja Mitchell, JK Dobbins, Jonathon Cooper, Pete Werner and Marcus Williamson spent time last month at the NFL headquarters in New York City.
• Jake Hausmann and Chris Chuganov both stayed local with their internships: Hausmann was the sponsorships and events intern for PromoWest Live while Chuganov worked with the sports law practice at the Porter Wright Law Firm. Others who interned in Columbus were Jashon Cornell (Blackwell Hotel), Gavin Cupp (Bucks Go Pro – SASSO), Noah Donald (Rapchat), Jordan Fuller (Porter Wright Law Firm), Malik Harrison (Ohio State Life Sports) and Derrick Malone (Ohio State Athletics social media).
• In California, Haskell Garrett, Roen McCullough and Zach Harrison learned about the bio-pharmaceutical sales industry at Amgen.
• The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton hosted six players – Jeff Okudah, Tyreke Smith, Taron Vincent, Baron Browning, Kevin Woidke and Nathan Brock. They were exposed to the day to day operations of the Hall of Fame and meet several of the organizations top executives.
• Real Life Wednesday speakers this spring/summer have included Cameron Mitchell, Kirk Herbstreit and Malcolm Jenkins.
Prior to the start of Friday’s job fair, student-athletes in attendance heard from Chris “Beanie” Wells, who was a standout running back for the Scarlet and Gray from 2006-08 and had a four-year NFL career for the Arizona Cardinals. Since returning to Columbus, Wells has returned to live in Columbus and worked for 97.1 The Fan as a radio host.