Three VT student-athletes chosen for national sports forum

Three Virginia Tech student-athletes have been chosen to participate in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in an announcement made Monday by college athletics’ governing body. 

Volleyball player Kai Young, women’s swimmer Molly Sheffield, and lacrosse standout Taylor Caskey will participate in the event, which takes place today, May 27, through Friday, May 29. This year, the event will be online as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now in its 11th year, the Career in Sports Forum provides college athletes with a broad look at the career tracks available within the sports business, with a primary focus on college athletics. 

“I am really stoked about having the opportunity to participate in the NCAA careersinsports forum because it provides me with another opportunity, on top of all of the opportunities provided for student-athletes at Tech, to grow as a future employee,” Sheffield said. “As student-athletes, we are not always able to participate in all of the career-building opportunities that regular students have the opportunity to participate in. This forum will allow me to learn from and interact with people in sports careers, something that I have been interested in since I started giving swimming lessons at the age of 15.

 

I worked closely with Sarah Lage [associate director of student-athlete career development] to complete the application for this forum,” Sheffield said. “I am so excited to have been accepted and have the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the field, to expand my knowledge on how to succeed in a career in sports and to represent Virginia Tech.”

Molly Sheffield

Sheffield just completed her junior season for the Tech swimming and diving program. The Mechanicsville, Va., native swims mostly in the butterfly events. 

Caskey started nine of the Hokies’ 10 games this season before the ACC pulled the plug on all spring sports activities because of the pandemic. The senior from Fairfax had 16 goals and 16 assists and ranked third on the team with 32 points. 

Taylor Caskey

“I can’t wait to participate in the careerinsports forum,” Caskey said. “This forum gives athletes the opportunity to explore different areas within college and professional sports athletic fields. I am excited to learn about the possibilities of a career in sports.

 

When I first came to college, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to work in sports,” Caskey said. “This forum is going to provide me with valuable real-life advice from people in positions of power, and build skills for my future. It will also open my eyes to what is possible post-college. I am so thankful that student-athlete development gave me this amazing opportunity, and I cannot wait to see where it takes me.”

 

Kai Young

“I am extremely excited and grateful that I have been given this opportunity to participate in the career-in-sports-forum,” said Young, a Charlotte native who had 36 kills in 12 matches during her junior season this past fall. “I am most looking forward to hearing from professionals who have had experience in the sports world and gaining knowledge from them based on their own philosophies. I believe this will be an opportunity to recognize some of my strengths and learn how to apply them to my professional career. This is a chance to develop and better myself as a leader, I also look forward to being able to connect with other student-athletes who attend different schools across the country.” 

Topics at the forum will include self-awareness and its role in professional development; practical approaches to the sports job search; personal branding; developing a career plan; and managing one‘s self as a professional in the sports industry. Through online panels, engaging breakout sessions, keynote presentations and facilitated discussions, program participants will complete their experience with a thorough understanding of athletics as a career path and where they as individuals fit into the industry’s landscape. 

Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports and who were viewed as leaders on their campus were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. The selection committee is composed of administrators and coaches within the NCAA, many of whom are former forum participants themselves.

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