OLIVET, Mich. – Olivet College rising senior Michaela Kaliniak participated in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum May 31-June 3 at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"I could write pages on what I learned," said Kaliniak. "But mostly I learned some great new leadership skills that I cannot wait to bring back to Olivet. Each speaker gave us great advice as I start to prepare for my future after graduation from Olivet.
"My favorite bit of advice was from Jason Burton. He spoke on 'know your why.' It was my favorite quote from the entire weekend. Knowing your why means knowing why you want to do what you are doing. Why do I want to pole vault because I love it. That is why. Your why is ever changing just as we change ourselves."
Kaliniak served as the president for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) during the 2017-18 academic year. She will continue in that role for the 2018-19 year.
An exercise science major, Kaliniak is a team captain for the Comet track and field team. This year, she was the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) indoor champion in the pole vault, clearing the bar at a school and MIAA indoor record height of 10 feet, 10 inches. The performance landed her on the 2018 All-MIAA team. In addition, Kaliniak was twice named the MIAA Athlete of the Week during the indoor season.
At the MIAA Outdoor Championships, Kaliniak placed fifth in the pole vault. Earlier in the season, she broke the school outdoor record, going over the bar at 10 feet, 6 inches at the Rhodes (Tenn.) College Invitational.
This summer, Kaliniak is training and working at Landon Athletics. She has also previously interned at Spartan Performance, where she coached athletes to excel at their sport both in a team and individual setting.
"After this weekend, I am not really sure what I want to do after graduation," said Kaliniak. "The forum really opened my eyes to how big the athletic world is. I would still like to coach track and field, but I am also highly interested in teaching kinesiology."
Each year, more than 460,000 student-athletes participate in 24 sports at more than 1,100 NCAA member institutions. Regardless of the sport they play, student-athletes all have one thing in common when they graduate: moving into the workforce.
The Career in Sports Forum, an annual educational forum hosted by the NCAA, brings together 200 student-athletes to learn and explore potential careers in sports, with the primary focus on college athletics. This unique, four-day forum is designed to assist student-athletes in charting their career paths, as well as provide an opportunity to network and learn from current athletics professionals.
The cutting-edge topics covered by industry experts include: how personal values intersect with career opportunities, how behavioral styles impact individual effectiveness, the key professional and career development information to assist with transition from a student-athlete to a professional, and the role of the college coach or athletics administrator. Participants will network with peers, as well as key decision-makers at the campus, conference and national level of college athletics.