Center for Leadership Development & Career Preparation

Becoming the Leaders and Best takes hard work, commitment and plenty of self-discovery. The University and student-athletes team up when it comes to personal development, and like any good teammate, we’ve got their back. We’re here to address their unique needs and experiences as a student-athlete and provide the best possible resources to help them succeed wherever life takes them. That’s why we established the Center for Leadership Development and Career Preparation. Focusing on core values that support independence, excellence, family, perpetual growth, integrity and outreach, this program helps student-athletes graduate world-ready and prepares them to achieve and surpass their personal and professional goals.

Building Champions

Our coaches recruit and develop student-athletes into champions who carry on Michigan’s championship tradition with integrity. We believe that exceptional performance extends beyond athletic accomplishments, and it’s our responsibility to provide them with the skills they need to have a competitive advantage not only in the athletic arena, but also in life. Our approach to developing leaders involves programming centered on personal development, leadership, career preparation, and community engagement.

A group of U-M student-athletes hold hands.

Personal Development

We equip our student-athletes with the tools necessary to live a fulfilling and successful life, as a student-athlete and beyond the Michigan experience. In addition, our Athletic Counseling team, made up of psychologists and counselors are well-positioned to respond to the individual and group needs of our student-athletes. As a part of our personal development initiatives, we promote self-discovery, healthy relationships, self-reliance, cultural competency and confidence, while helping them manage stress, develop their personal brand, and augment their strengths.

A large group of U-M student-athletes complete a team-building activity.

Leadership Training

Leadership skills are essential no matter where life takes you. At Michigan, we focus on helping student-athletes develop these skills so that they can successfully lead organizations and communities. They identify and explore values, vision and leadership styles, learn what it means to be financially independent, and engage in community service and advocacy. Through leadership training, we help them communicate and collaborate effectively, develop campus and faculty relationships and foster community engagement opportunities, while honing their conflict resolution, critical thinking and time management skills.

U-M student-athletes interact with alumni at a networking event.

Career Preparation

Life after graduation can seem uncertain and the vast world of career opportunities can easily become overwhelming – so we’ve developed specially tailored resources to help make student-athletes transition as smooth as possible. As a member of the Michigan community, student-athletes have access to dynamic professional, educational and career programs and services that empower them to discover, prepare for and adapt to postgraduate life.

Community Engagement

The Michigan Athletics Let’s Go Do program connects student-athletes with local non-profit organizations to create mutually beneficial experiences. Let’s Go Do helps our student-athletes explore their interests through meaningful, educational experiences, while our local organizations benefit from their donated time, energy and passion. We focus on providing a diverse range of community service opportunities, so our student-athletes are able to select the ways they can give back. The Let’s Go Do program is just one more way we’re supporting our student-athletes’ complete experience. Let’s go help. Let’s go connect. Let’s Go Do.

We Are Michigan

More Stories
Show back of card. Katie Zurales, women’s gymnastics, class of 2013

Katie Zurales

Medical Student, University of Michigan - Women's Gynmastics

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My time at Michigan taught me the true meaning of team and tradition. When we stepped into our Maize and Blue leotards at the beginning of each season, we competed for something much greater than ourselves. We competed for each other, for our University, and for the Michigan women who came before us and created the incredible tradition. My experiences taught me about leadership, respect and loyalty.
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Anna Schueler

Women’s Lacrosse

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When choosing where I wanted to go to school, I was worried that a school as big as Michigan would be difficult to get comfortable in, but as a student-athlete at Michigan, you gain your own community where you are always supported, challenged and bonded with other student-athletes looking to achieve the same goals as you. Michigan has become my second home.
Show back of card. Denise Muresan

Denise Muresan

Professional Tennis Player - Women's Tennis

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After you graduate, you may not be able to take Ann Arbor with you as much as you wish you could! But two things you will always have with you, formed from your experiences there, are the leadership and personal growth you gain. These will help you in every aspect of your life, in anything you want to accomplish.
Show back of card. Mary Petrovich, softball, class of 1985

Mary Petrovich

Operating Executive, The Carlyle Group - Softball

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My education in the classroom was equally supplemented by the life lessons learned as a student-athlete while proudly wearing the Block M as the captain of my team. The ability to overcome adversity, manage the stress and workload that’s demanded as an engineering student and master extreme time management challenges are but a few examples of leadership and personal growth development that have allowed me to achieve success as a working mother while leading a global industrial business to be best-in-class.