February 13, 2020

Student-Athletes (Business) Suit Up at Dress to Impress Event


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Sunday evening, while millions of Americans were watching red carpet shows, oohing (or not) at the latest designer clothes and settling in for the 92nd Academy Awards, an audience of Ohio State student-athletes had designs of their own on how to dress to impress.

The student-athletes – 71 in all – were part of a partnership between the Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute (Institute) and a national department store to “suit them up” appropriately for upcoming interviews and professional networking events. The Institute permitted student-athletes to purchase professional development attire including dress clothes, shoes and accessories needed for success off the field.

Preparing for life, a career and success after graduation is the core focus of the Institute, which provides leadership, character and career development opportunities for all Ohio State student-athletes throughout their years on campus. Core components of the Institute include:

    • Professional development sessions/workshops hosted by industry professionals and educators;
    • Leadership development centered around creating and sustaining culture, trust and respect;
    • Site visits to organizations, businesses and corporations; and
    • Internal and external internships through the Bucks Go Pro 1.0 and 2.0 programs.

While the Student-Athlete Support Services Office at Ohio State has been a part of this event in the past, this is the first year for the Institute and it proved to be a really good deal, in many ways.

“It’s great that the athletics department gave us this opportunity,” Hudson Santana, a sophomore fencer from the Bronx, N.Y, said. “This is a good chance for us to get professional attire to wear as we go through our interview process.”

Student-athletes, primarily freshmen and sophomores from as many as 15 different Ohio State sports programs, had to complete a two-step program in order to attend the event.

    • Step 1 included completing a career assessment, creating or updating a resume and completing steps in an interview guide.
    • Step 2 was scheduling a meeting with a representative of the Institute to review and discuss the career plan and professional documents.

The final act was getting to the store. At least five members of the women’s hockey team were there after playing a two-game series Friday and Saturday on the road against Minnesota-Duluth.

There were at least that many men’s volleyball players as well as women’s lacrosse players, who had a game at 2 p.m. Sunday before the shopping spree. Numerous fencers, swimmers and rifle team members were spotted there with their teammates, as well.

The student-athletes all knew where and when they would wear their new outfits, from the Scholar-Athlete Banquet to job interviews to intern and extern interviews and even to an interview at another Power 5 school for a graduate assistant position.

Box office appeal can generate an Oscar. A great first impression can help a productive, eager and career-focused student-athlete land an internship, a second interview or even the most coveted prize: a rewarding job.

Ohio State Buckeyes