May 17, 2014
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University senior student-athletes were recognized during a brunch on Thursday at the Copley Formal Lounge, a chance for athletics department staff and coaches to congratulate them on their graduation and to thank them for their participation on the Hilltop.
Organized by Dr. Mike Lorenzen, Assistant Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Leadership and Development, the informal brunch was attended by more than 100 student-athletes, coaches and staff.
"We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you," Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed said. "This is a chance for us to thank you for your hard work on the field, for your hard work in the classroom and for being great representatives of Georgetown University."
The group also heard from Erik Smulson, Vice President for Public Affairs and Senior Advisor to the President, who encouraged the student-athletes to use the skills that they honed during their time at Georgetown and to stay connected to the University.
A keynote speech was given by former women's basketball player Christina Besozzi ('05), who is an Engagement Manager at Heidrick & Struggles, a publicly-traded executive search and leadership advisory firm.
She encouraged the graduates to be of the mindset that no task is beneath you. "While I know it was four years ago, I am sure you all can remember as freshmen on your different teams, having to earn the respect of those around you - your coaches and staff, your older teammates, and your fellow "rookies," she said. "And part of the way that you accumulated that respect was by showing up on time to practice/games, putting in 110 percent, and demonstrating that you were doing everything in your power to make both yourself and the team better.
Besozzi also encouraged the group to build their network, to ask questions and to know when to ask for help.
"Creating a network of people that can help you both professionally and personally is not only challenging, but it is also ongoing," she said. "But in my opinion, there are things you can do to make it easier, which brings me to my next piece of advice - leverage what you enjoy and points of commonality when trying to forge relationships.
"Asking questions, being curious, and recognizing when you need assistance are integral to moving in the right direction in your career. As it relates to your student-athlete experience, you all are currently at the top of your game, having just accumulated four years of valuable knowledge from team-related and individual situations on and off the court/field/water, and inside and outside of the classroom. You have become the master of your craft, but now the reset button has been hit, and you are entering new territory, which is exciting and somewhat intimidating at the same time. However, asking questions, and admitting what you don't know, can both expedite one's learning curve, and it can also give you more credibility with those around you."