NCAA Career in Sports Forum shows a plethora of pathways in sports to Lyons Bisson and Greer

Mount Holyoke rower Jocelyn Greer '23 and lacrosse player Hannah Bisson '24 represented the Lyons at the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, held June 1-4 at the national office in Indianapolis. (Photos provided)
Mount Holyoke rower Jocelyn Greer '23 and lacrosse player Hannah Bisson '24 represented the Lyons at the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, held June 1-4 at the national office in Indianapolis. (Photos provided)

Prior to the NCAA Career in Sports Forum held earlier this month in Indianapolis, Mount Holyoke College lacrosse team captain Hannah Bisson had rarely traveled very far beyond her hometown of South Hadley, Massachusetts, where Mount Holyoke is also located.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, which stemmed from a nomination by Mount Holyoke Senior Associate Director of Athletics Erica Lemm, led to what she would later describe as "probably the best experience of my life so far."

"I am immensely grateful to Erica for nominating me for this once in a lifetime opportunity," said Bisson. "If anyone is interested in a career in sports, or any career for that matter, I highly recommend they talk to someone in the field."

Lemm nominated both Bisson and recent graduate Jocelyn Greer '23, who recently completed an outstanding collegiate athletic career with the Mount Holyoke rowing team, as Mount Holyoke's representatives at the forum, held at the NCAA national office.

The event is meticulously designed to highlight potential career paths in sports and facilitate the attendees' professional and personal development. As described in the NCAA's story about the event, "an immersive opportunity to "level up" through a multitude of networking, inspirational speakers, informative career advice and more from current professionals in the pro sports and collegiate athletics world.

"There were panels, talks, and smaller group discussions where we learned about others' experiences, our own strengths, and the steps it would take to get where we want to go," said Greer, who was also quoted in the NCAA story. "It was so cool to learn from individuals who do hold such a variety of roles, especially the rowing coach on a panel who had walked on as a novice in college like I did."

From a broader perspective, the opportunity to participate in the program is only a recent example of Mount Holyoke Athletics' consistently facilitating opportunities for its student-athletes' personal growth, in terms of both learning and performance.

The Career in Sports Forum stressed networking as a powerful tool in the industry, beginning with its 200-plus participants, who were all nominated for the free-of-cost experience by athletic administrators from their institutions. Bisson was nominated by Lemm in great part because she had expressed and demonstrated great interest in a career in athletics administration -- originating her own network, in a sense.

"I learned so much about the different careers in sports; in fact, I learned a whole new field that I'm interested in!" said Bisson. "After networking with some sports industry professionals, I learned that I'm very interested in student-athlete development, something that I didn't think I'd be interested in initially. I still have goals of one day becoming an athletic director, but I know that I want to work directly with athletes to help them succeed in sports. I plan to apply to graduate schools this fall for sport management to learn more about the sports industry and to advance more quickly to a leading role."

Unlike Bisson, Greer is now a college graduate, and less definitive about the career path ahead of them. But participating in the forum was an immensely helpful experience.

"It was so much fun to be surrounded by so many of my peers who are interested in sports, including Hannah!" said Greer. "I can't wait to see what all these young leaders do for sports, and I hope we can all use our experience to open up these opportunities to those who are limited by financial barriers, limited exposure to sports, anti-trans legislature, and more. I'm not sure whether I'm headed towards a career in sports, but even if I'm not, I'm taking away a far deeper understanding of my own strengths and how to communicate them to others, as well as a ton of motivation to find the things that I enjoy and can do well."