On Thursday, May 25, 66 BTSNY student-athletes showed up to the UPS Center for the "Job Readiness" Life Skills presentation by the UPS Human Resources (HR) department. During this workshop, BTS kids got to hear real, relatable stories from UPS employees who started small in the company but worked hard to move upand how they can do the same one day.  

The HR representatives, who routinely interview, hire and fire individualstold the kids what UPS looks for in potential employees. Each section of the HR Department spoke about what they specifically value when they look at a potential employee. The takeaway message was that each part is crucial in creating the individual's overall image.  

Coach Jacque Davis, Head Girls Coach, praised the various merits of the workshop. She felt that it was very encouraging how each division described the importance of "soft skills." Davis elaborated that while "someone can be really smart and competent in their job... that if they aren't friendly, personable, and easy to work with, then people would still prefer not to hire them. 

She felt this takeaway is "incredibly relatable for our BTS group, as some of these kids might feel discouraged by the access they have to education or certifications, when in reality, if they learn how to make eye contact, shake hands, dress appropriately, be strong with small talk, then people will generally enjoy being around them and be more inclined to hire them."  
 
The HR Department also made the kids try out an effective and insightful communications activity. Each student-athlete was provided a packet that helped them identify what kind of communicator they are, what strengths their type had, and how to better communicate with the other types of communicators.  

Barry Hart, Assistant Coach at Wingate and BTS alumni, really appreciated seeing this Life Skills workshop being taught  "because skills, such as communication, are not taught in high school as much." Hart described that the workshop was all-encompassing. Presenters described how social media should be properly used, as well as what exactly employers look for. Hart noted that the desired qualities that were discussed "[are] all things that wrestling also teaches." 

Mariana Olalde, BTS alumna and current intern, provided support at this workshop. She's happy to see that BTS is expanding even further with holistic development, especially in regards to this workshop. She viewed this presentation as having information that will be helpful to student-athletes as they face real-life employment situations in the future. She described that even she had "Oh!" lightbulb moments. "It wasn't just textbook 'memorize this' information that you might not use again-- our wrestlers were getting good advice from successful adults," said Olalde. 

Naomi Henry, a freshman at Wingate High School, felt that this workshop was "eye-opening to what life is like in the real world, in terms of how important communication is or how careful we have to be on social media with what we post on our pages."  

Thank you to the UPS Center and the Human Resources Departments—not only for having been fantastic hosts, but for also helping equip BTS student-athletes with necessary life skills. As Naomi Henry said, this was definitely an "eye-opening" learning experience for all participants.

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