September 6, 2023, by jhillary1
The Career Skills My Sport Has Taught Me
By Giada Pedretti, Neurocscience graduate
At University I train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a high-level team. University helped me grow a lot, both personally and professionally, and through many ups and downs. I graduated in July with a first-class MSci degree and I will start working shortly as a Research Assistant in chronic pain, alongside coaching Jiu Jitsu and competing internationally.
What sort of sports have you been involved in?
From a very young age, I started practising sports. During my childhood, I swam and did some gymnastics, and as a teenager started practising martial arts. After doing Japanese Jiu Jitsu for a few years, I switched to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which became my favourite sport.
Due to an injury, Covid and poor mental health, I then took a three-year break from Jiu Jitsu and I got involved in handball, football and climbing. At the beginning of last academic year, I resumed practising Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and competing. Throughout this year, I also had the opportunity to start coaching Jiu Jitsu to children and women and teaching self-defence classes at Nottingham High School.
How can sport boost your employability?
Sports are not only lots of fun and a way to make friends, but they can also help you gain several transferable skills which can be useful for your future career. For example, participating in sports can help you sharpen your networking and teamwork skills as you will need to interact with different people on multiple occasions.
Additionally, succeeding at a sport requires you to have good time management and stress-coping skills, which will show employers you can prioritise and schedule effectively, as well as properly handle stressful situations.
What career skills have you developed?
Training multiple times a week, and occasionally even daily, alongside being a full-time student, required good time management to excel in both areas. This demonstrates I can prioritise my time well and enhance productivity within the constraints of my schedule.
Sports also helped me gain resilience and a constructive outlook on failure. I learnt that failure is a great starting point for improvement and success. In Jiu Jitsu, when you roll with someone more experienced, the chances they will catch you in a submission are very high. This really teaches you to accept failure and move forwards, trying to learn from your mistakes and improve yourself to do better next time.
Additionally, sports taught me to maintain focus in stressful situations. I like to compete not because I think it is particularly fun, but mainly because it challenges my comfort zone and forces me to face my inner self and stay focused even during challenging scenarios.
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