The Seton Hall University Department of Athletics hosted its Fourth-Annual Leadership Forum for current student-athletes on Wednesday night, welcoming a group of four distinguished professionals to Walsh Gymnasium for a career-oriented discussion as well as networking opportunities.
The decorated and diverse panel of Seton Hall alumni featured the President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass Medical Center, Mary Ellen Clyne Ph.D, Co-Founder of the executive search firm Adison & Partners, Jim DiPietropolo, Hank D'Alessandro, a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley and member of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents, and Mark Ganton, another University Board of Regents member who currently serves as Principal at Brian J. Ganton & Associates.
Throughout the evening, the panelists shared insight derived from their own experiences and their respective paths to becoming industry headliners. True to the vision behind the introduction of the event, student-athletes in attendance spent the majority of the event participating in an open dialogue that provided guidelines regarding how to optimize the student-athlete experience while also expanding on measures that aspiring professionals can take in order to differentiate themselves in a highly-competitive and ever-evolving job market.
During the discussion, which was moderated by noted entrepreneur Glenn Horine, the panelists were asked to share their personal thoughts on being proactive as an undergraduate and the importance of maintaining that drive as a recent grad. The conversation also turned to the importance and potential impact of an individual's digital presence and how powerful it can be in securing career advancement opportunities when managed effectively.
Another recurring theme throughout the event was the correlation between the skills acquired and developed during the student-athlete experience and those that employers look for in prospective candidates. The panelists helped to share how directly translatable and marketable those competences are when transitioning into the work force and how to accentuate them in the job seeking process.
In addition to the question and answer session as a part of the formal event, there was also a reception held in the Walsh Lobby where the student-athletes were afforded an opportunity to have one-on-one conversation with each of the speakers.
One of the many professional development initiatives on the Helping Athletes Learn to be Leaders (H.A.L.L.) Program calendar, the forum was open to student-athletes of all classes and saw all 14 varsity teams represented.
"This event is essentially a microcosm of the mission behind the institution of the H.A.L.L. Program," said Roberto Sasso, Assistant Athletics Director / Student-Athlete Development & Leadership. "We were fortunate enough to assemble a panel full of individuals who have earned their way to the height of their fields and having first-hand insight from real-world decision makers is a tool that we feel will be invaluable for our student-athletes moving forward."
"What we are most proud of is how this event continues to grow and evolve," he continued. "This was our fourth forum and each year, our student-athletes have been more and more engaged, driving the conversation towards issues that they feel are most applicable to their current position. This is a truly unique and significant opportunity for our student-athletes to candidly hear from highly-successful individuals who have been through this university, as well as the process that lies ahead of them, and have gone on to distinguish themselves as exceptional leaders. Their interactions with the panel showed that they were cognizant of the merits of this event and were here to capitalize on that opportunity."