USC’s Beyond Sports Program helps athletes in careers after graduation

By Caroline Petrone

University of South Carolina athletics is coming off of a year that saw the men’s basketball team go to the Final Four and the women win a National Championship in basketball.

Officials in the athletics department hope this is only the beginning of more success to come.

To help with that; Senior Associate Athletic Director, Chris Rogers, Compliance Assistant, Neal Esposito, and Academic Adviser, Jewel May are the creators and directors of the new internship opportunity called the Beyond Sports Program. It’s an internship for student-athletes at South Carolina.

“The Beyond Sports Internship and Professional Development Program is a great opportunity for USC student-athletes to gain practical experience in their chosen fields of interest,” said May.

“Throughout the program, they will meet professionals in various areas and grow their networks, as well as learn different ways to aid in their transitions into the working world after sports. Currently in our inaugural year, we have had a large amount of interest, and we look to grow the program moving forward, to include even more student-athletes,” she said.

The university wants to be sure to impart the idea that the school’s student-athletes are much more than what they do on the court, in the pool, or on the field. In that effort the athletics department is guiding students.
Student-athletes are asked what their interests are for a future career. And they are asked where they would like to gain experience in a partnership with a company, organization, or business that fits their plans.

The Beyond Sports Program is an opportunity for these athletes to get a jump on their careers post-graduation. With only one percent of student-athletes continuing their careers professionally after graduation, this program guides that other 99 percent to greatness in the work world.

The student-athletes participating in the first year of this program come from the sports of football, swimming, track and field, volleyball, beach volleyball, baseball, and softball.

Some of the businesses that provided internships are Gamecock Athletics, Chernoff Newman, Palmetto Health USC Orthopedics Center, Veterans Hospital, Columbia Fireflies, and the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation.

The leaders of the Beyond Sports Program have been pleased with the number of places around Columbia that reached out to help the  student-athletes. The hope is that more companies will want to get involved in the future.

This internship program is a great opportunity for companies and businesses to get involved with the university as much as it is important for student-athletes to get out and gain real-world experiences.

The Beyond Sports Program is the beginning for USC athletes to be more than the sport they play.
Throughout the summer follow their Instagram account BeyondSportsSC and follow their blog that highlights two different athletes each week at: Link to Beyond Sports