While South Carolina student-athletes enjoy getting into their Under Armour gear, senior Dominique Babbitt of the women’s soccer team enjoyed a chance to get inside the company. Babbitt took part in Under Armour’s Career Combine Program earlier this summer and travelled to the company’s headquarters in Baltimore along with student-athletes from around the country.
“We learned about the different departments and different career paths you can choose,” Babbitt said. “It was probably the most beneficial professional opportunity I’ve had in my life. It was a really great experience.”
The selective career program gave student athletes a chance to experience Under Armour from the inside with four days devoted to learning the business, developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and preparing for a career in the field. For Babbitt, who is studying fashion merchandise and aspires to work for a company such as Under Armour, the opportunity was too good to pass up.
“It was awesome,” Babbitt said. “As student-athletes, we don’t really have time to do internships outside the city where you go to school. I really liked their product development teams. You’d work with some professional athletes as well as consumers to see what they like.
“It was very overwhelming when we first got there because you are around all these really hip people. They were all really nice, and all of them are athletes. They love working out. They have a gym right in their headquarters.”
They gave all of us confidence in ourselves that we’re able to perform off the field as well as on the field.Dominique Babbitt
Student-athletes had lessons in branding, networking, as well as competing in the business world. Babbitt noted that one of the best parts of her week-long experience was working with student-athletes from other schools and a project assigned to them by Under Armour.
“My group’s project was on men’s running shoes,” Babbitt said. “We presented it to a bunch of other workers at Under Armour. We got consumer insight. The head of H.R. was there. It made you feel important that it meant something to them. They gave us a lot of feedback on interview skills, our resume, and our LinkedIn profile. It was a really great experience. They really want their athletes to succeed off the field as well as on the field.
“I learned that I’m not just a student-athlete. Soccer is very important, but my career is something they gave me a lot of confidence in. I’ve never really had confidence in my next step in life, and they gave all of us confidence in ourselves that we’re able to perform off the field as well as on the field.”
Similar to being a part of a team at their respective schools, the student-athletes also learned a lesson in what it means to be a part of a professional team in the business world.
“One of the girls was wearing some [competitor’s] shoes. Probably not a good look,” Babbitt laughed. “If you went in the gym, you couldn’t wear any other stuff. They had some shoes you could rent.”
The 2017 Under Armour Career Combine was open to current student-athletes who are graduating between December of 2017 and May of 2019 and have maintained a minimum grade point average of 2.75.