ODU Athletics

Monarchs Showcase Professional Skills at Career Combine

November 09, 2017
By ODU Athletics

Norfolk, Va. – The ODU Student-Athlete Development program wrapped up a successful fall campaign Tuesday night with the 2017 ODU Career Combine serving as the final event of the semester. Hosting over 150 junior and senior student-athletes, the event took place in the Big Blue Room at the Ted Constant Center and featured a competition-style career fair including over 20 local and national employers.

In addition to participating in traditional career fair activities, student-athletes had several opportunities to engage in interactive sessions with employers, including speed networking and an employer panel.

Leading up to the main event, Monarch student-athletes attended Career Combine Training Camp in September to sharpen their skills with resume building, networking, elevator speeches, and job selection processes. Additionally, student-athletes were able to work with ODU Career Development Services over the past two months to fine-tune their resumes with one-on-one assistance.

Antonio Cruz-Conde, a senior on the men’s golf team, embraced the preparation provided for the combine. “It was really helpful to hear what they really want in a resume,” Cruz-Conde said.

One of the main focuses of the night was engaging students in face-to-face interactions with employers and gaining valuable networking experience. After spending the first portion of the evening freely browsing employers, the event shifted to more focused sessions that were intended to develop various professional skills and assist in increasing students’ knowledge of the full hiring process from initial recruitment to accepting an offer.

“The face-to-face interactions provided a really great opportunity to get professional advice and experience from several different employers,” senior rower Danielle Yoxthimer said.

Another important aspect of the event was engaging students with companies that may seem “out of their majors”. Students were encouraged to visit at least two or three companies that they may not consider to be “within their major” throughout the event.

Mufu Taiwo, a junior on the football team, gained valuable insight on this notion during the Career Combine. Taiwo said, “The combine was very helpful because I didn’t realize how many companies offered different types of jobs. I didn’t think Waffle House or New York Life would have IT/Cybersecurity positions. I also learned how many companies have IT related fields that I could do with my IT degree, such as working with crime scenes, setting up surveillance operations, etc.”

Towards the end of the program, awards were presented for best resumes and best dressed. The winners for those categories are listed below.

2017 Career Combine Award Winners
Best Dressed Female:

Katerina Vlasinova – Senior – Women’s Golf – International Business

Best Dressed Male:
Luke Cowden – Junior – Men’s Swimming & Diving – Electrical Engineering

“Best Resume” - Batten College of Engineering and Technology:
1st – Kerri Caruso – Junior – Women’s Lacrosse – Mechanical Engineering
2nd – Luke Cowden – Junior – Men’s Swimming & Diving – Electrical Engineering
3rd – Kaleab Fetahi – Junior – Wrestling – Mechanical Engineering

“Best Resume” - College of Arts & Letters:

1st – Charles Hess – Senior – Men’s Golf – IDS Teacher Prep

2nd – Danielle Yoxthimer – Senior – Women’s Rowing – Criminal Justice


“Best Resume” - Strome College of Business:

1st – Mufu Taiwo – Junior – Football – Information Technology

2nd – Katerina Vlasinova – Senior – Women’s Golf – International Business

3rd – Iris Achterhof – Junior – Women’s Soccer – Finance & Business Analytics Business


“Best Resume” - Darden College of Education:

1st – Sam Perelman – Senior – Men’s Tennis – Sport Management

2nd – Tori Ewing – Junior – Sailing – Speech Language Pathology & Audiology

3rd – Ashley Teller – Senior – Women’s Swimming & Diving – Therapeutic Recreation


“Best Resume” - College of Sciences:

1st – Luke Weisenstein – Junior – Men’s Swimming & Diving - Chemistry

2nd – Lyndsey Duty – Junior – Women’s Lacrosse – Biology – Marine Science

3rd – Lysette Rivera-Cortes – Junior – Women’s Rowing - Biology


“Best Resume” - College of Health Sciences

1st – Karlie Kellstrom – Senior – Women’s Soccer – Public Health


2017 Career Combine Employers
Bauer Compressors, Inc.
City of Virginia Beach (Human Resources)
Dominion Financial Solutions
Enterprise Holdings
New York Life
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Northwestern Mutual
ODU Monarch Physical Therapy
Orangetheory Fitness
Pilot Media: The Virginian-Pilot and PilotOnline.com
Reliance Staffing & Recruiting
Sherwin Williams
United States Navy
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation
Virginia Beach Police Department
Waffle House
WR Systems

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