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GiGuru Tells All: Aztecs Going Pro Panel

T'was a fun Tuesday night for GiGuru spending the evening with SDSU Athletics! On October 26, 2021, GiGuru Founder & CEO, Anya Tsirklin, participated in a three-person panel and got to share her recruiting expertise with many student athletes at SDSU. Anya was joined by Lauren Lee, former Women's volleyball player for the Aztecs and now Social Media and Marketing Specialist and Jasmine Burrell, a 2015 SDSU Grad and Women's Track and Field coach.


The conversation provided a mixture of emotions, laughter, rawness and authenticity, and the audience was not disappointed. Danielle Kelly, Student-Athlete Development Coordinator did an amazing job moderating the session, fostering a great balance of engagement by both the panelists and audience members. The purpose of the session was to create a safe space for normalizing the ambiguity of the post-college experience, empowering and equipping the student-athletes with the knowledge, confidence and inertia to move forward in their application, interviewing and job-landing journey.



The Hiring Partner Perspective:

Student athletes at SDSU got to dive in and learn more about what recruiters like Anya look for in their interviewees. With her deep expertise in recruiting, Anya was able to provide her genuine and insightful perspective. Anya embodied GiGuru, leading the conversation in total alignment with GiGuru's mission: humanizing the hiring process, one company at a time. Driving home the point of reading people and not resumes, Anya emphasized that a resume is not a single data point of an individual, it's how they "show up" to the interview itself. Drawing from life experiences, demonstrating self-awareness, empathy, and collaborative abilities are some of the foundational skill-sets that she looks for in all of her interviews.


The Student-Athlete/Recent Grad Perspective:

Meanwhile, Lauren got to take the other end of the seat by showing them what life is like after college athletics. As a recent grad, Lauren took on the role of showing current student athletes what life after college athletics looks like. Through being an athlete and having that strong connection to SDSU athletics, Lauren was able to leverage her understanding of the grind that these athletes endure on a regular basis and was able to connect with the students to deliver a very important message: don't wait until the last minute to get your future squared away. Lauren provided insight to those with a lack of job experience and a blank resume, and gave some useful advice on how to build out their portfolio without having typical job experience by using their athletic leadership experience.


The Student-Athlete/Post-Grad Perspective:

The third panelist, Jasmine Burrell painted a very real picture of her application and interviewing journey. She pivoted effortlessly between times of adversity, humble beginnings, interviewing wins and all the other lessons that she learned along the way. With her sharp wit, sense of humor and authentic nature, she was able to connect with audience and get roaring laughter in return. Jasmine was a truly example of someone that wasn't afraid to start from scratch. Her way of communicating was such an important tool in this discussion.


Takeaways:

It was an epic session! If we had to sum it up, the biggest take-away of it all would be: the journey doesn't look the same for everyone and it's totally ok to not have all of the answers! Common themes that were discussed were:

  • You don't have to have it all figured out, just start somewhere and keep moving

  • It's ok to try, make mistakes and try again

  • Be YOU! Own your strengths, weaknesses and unique qualities, there is no one else like you

  • Just because you don't have professional experience, doesn't mean that you can't draw from transferable skills from your sport, after-school job or even school project

  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a hot commodity in interviewing and getting the job

  • Internships are key - get your hands on anything that you can while you are still in school and even after graduation

  • First impressions are everything, and if your first job requires you to make coffee all day long, make sure that you're making the best dang cups of coffee, because you never know who will be drinking it



We hope that you enjoyed this different twist of GiGuru Tells All. Do you remember your post-college experience? We would love to hear about your journey! Please leave your comments below!

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