As Neil stated in his previous post, the airport is a perfect place to sit down and reflect on the past few days. I’m awaiting an early morning flight today, so while I wait I want to take time to collect my Travel Thoughts.
First off, I would like to reiterate how grateful we all are at What’s Next for all of the support, feedback, and responses (positive or negative) we have received within our first week. We have been talking about this idea for quite some time now and it feels great to see it start to come to fruition. We have received emails, Instagram messages, LinkedIn messages, texts and phone calls not only from our family and friends, but from fellow student athletes who are hoping to join our network. I’m already seeing the “student athlete network” starting to expand. That is our goal: to not only provide you with career guidance via the interviews we showcase, but to build a network of like-minded individuals who can help one another tackle life after the game. I hope the network grows a little bit each day; and you all are getting in on the ground floor.
This week we received an interesting email that came through via our website “contact” page (I won’t reveal the name of the individual at this time, but stay tuned for an interview with this person). The email was from a person we’ve never met before. He is a former soccer player at Michigan State University, captain for three years, and graduated around the same time as us. He wrote, “I spent all morning going through the site, reading about each of you, and getting a better understanding of what it is you are trying to do with the What’s Next platform. I felt compelled to reach out.” He then went on to say, “Ever since I started my ‘career’, I have been constantly looking for more…as I sit here at my 9-5 job, I feel as if I’m just going through the motions. It’s hard to motivate myself, which is something I’ve always prided myself on. It’s just difficult for me to be motivated when I’m not passionate about what I’m doing…my resume had NCAA athlete, team captain, great GPA, etc., but still I find myself still searching.” We set up a call with this individual the next day and had an exciting conversation. He wanted to help. He wanted to get involved. He wanted to become part of the network. This is EXACTLY why we launched What’s Next – to make an impact on those who are trying rebuild their identities from “athlete” to “former athlete”. These types of messages and connections are validating the concept for us and it is making us more excited and driven to reach more and more people throughout the country.
So please continue to spread the word. Let’s work together to expand our network as wide as we possibly can. We look forward to connecting with more people each day and hope you all can stick with us throughout this ride. Be on the lookout for our third interview launching next week (it’s a QU alumni – Go Bobcats) and be sure to follow us on Instagram @whats_nextpod. Oh, we’re also on iTunes now, so go subscribe to our podcast! It’ll make listening much easier during your own travels.
That’s all for now, time to hop on the plane. #KC