My name is Jacob Kemmerer, and I will be writing a blog series for the Voice of the Box website. To briefly introduce myself, I am a 22-year-old former college baseball player currently finishing up the last class of a finance degree at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. I don’t want to delve to deeply into my personal background, as I will get into this more over the series of blog posts.
Because the Voice of the Box platform is geared to help create job search strategies for anyone looking to break into the sports industry, including athletes and former athletes, I saw myself as a natural fit to write for this webpage. As my athletic career has come to a (hopefully temporary) halt while I finish my degree, I am transitioning from the sports world to the business sector and looking to start working for a living. Ideally, my career would involve work in some major sport, as sports are my first love. However, like many other athletes whose professional aspirations have not come to fruition, I am now facing the “real world” and looking to maximize my employment potential. With Matt Crevin and others’ help, my ambition is to ultimately end up in a career where I both make a lot of money and get to enjoy what I do, something that I am learning can be rare in this day and age. As I am about to emerge out of college, this seems to be an especially daunting task, one I’m sure many of you are similarly about to face.
My first career goal was to become a professional baseball player. However, like so many college seniors (especially right handed pitchers not throwing in the mid-90s, like myself) who are not considered “prospect” types, I was bypassed in the spring amateur draft. This brought about the harsh reality that I would have to find an alternate career to replace my lifelong dream of playing major league baseball. My view as a recent NCAA athlete has given me the insight to understand that the main concern of universities is to keep athletes eligible and in top condition to perform at the highest level possible during their tenure. Their non-sporting future gets neglected.
The fact is that very few college athletes ever make it to the professional level. If you are an athlete, career search guidance is pretty much non-existent, and recommendations to find summer jobs or internships in one’s desired field just doesn’t’ seem to exist. All I was taught was how to craft a résumé, which is basically useless because my summers have all been spent playing summer baseball, and during the school year playing a sport while balancing academics is a full-time job. The bottom line is that as a college athlete aspiring to transition to the next level, you often find yourself three-plus years behind other similar students when competing for jobs. You have likely foregone summer jobs and internships in pursuit of your chosen sport, and you don’t likely have a good backup plan.
In light of this, I am determined not to give in and be a “flamed-out” jock that didn’t make the pros. I will strive to be successful in whatever career field I end up in, and with some guidance from the Voice of the Box principles and a solid network of connections, I am confident that this can be achieved. I am going to re-channel the drive that lead me to play four years of college baseball into my search for employment!
Follow me in my journey as I transition from NCAA athlete to businessman or whatever other opportunities come my way. I promise that it will be a fun and informative ride.
Until next time,