From walk-on quarterback at Tennessee State University to Associate Director, The Center For Career & Professional Success, Howard University, Nate McGill knows a thing or two about the value of hard work, earned experience, and the power of believing in oneself.
After completing his studies and football ‘career’ at Tennessee State, Nate’s path underwent an inspirational transformation that could easily be described as kismet. Starting as a graduate in Integrated Marketing & Communications, he embarked on an internship at the University of Princeton as an Athletic Director. This experience led him to pursue a Master’s degree from Georgia State University. Subsequently, he engaged in tutoring within Georgia State’s Athletics Association, eventually securing a position there as a Graduate Assistant in Student Athlete Development. He then evolved his journey and became Academic Advisor at the University of Texas, San Antonio, before assuming the role of Assistant Director of SOAR at Rice University—a campus renowned for its breathtaking beauty- and most recently completed a year of work as Program Director, Student & Athlete Career Development, Maryland Made Terps. Nate’s work now lands him with Howard University, where he extends his unique perspective and positive impact each day. (Now, if that career path isn’t a remarkable, awe inducing touchdown we don’t know what is).
This professional trajectory, one could argue, traces back to Nate’s pivotal moment on the football field — tryouts — at Tennessee State. As a walk-on quarterback without prior recruitment from high school, he showcased the exact qualities the team needed. This single moment underscored the importance of recognizing one’s own skillset and value – setting the stage for his entire career.
In this episode of Mindset in Motion, Nate details his journey from this fateful day to guiding student athletes to realize their full potential both on and off ‘the field’. In this conversation, McGill emphasizes the call for more holistic support systems and frameworks for student athletes to develop their skills and nurture themselves beyond athletics. His insights are well informed and thoughtful and considering only 2% of university or college athletes make it pro post-graduation, his work is very important to the future lives of so many student athletes.
What does a student athlete do post-graduation to find a career when their primary focus and identity was fundamentally associated with athletics for four + years?
How does a student athlete’s mindset differ and how can we carefully consider support for this uniquely honed mindset throughout their studies and beyond graduation – into the employment landscape?
This episode will open your eyes to the journey, struggles, and learning lessons that student athletes undergo throughout their higher education and post-graduate experiences and support you to examine how we can work together in considering the unique mindsets of, and expectations on, student athletes. The aim? We hope these insights help you build thoughtful, empathetic, holistic and systemic approaches to developing and supporting career-readiness for the ‘student’ in ‘student athlete’.