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. As a Wolverine, Meyer was a multi-time Big Ten Champion and earned All-American status in the Steeplechase. Meyer would go on to win the 1983 Boston Marathon; he was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2005, the U-M Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2011

Greg Meyer

Vice President of Aquinas College and Executive Director of the Aquinas College Foundation - Men's Track & Field

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Being at the University of Michigan taught me that I could compete with students that came into Michigan with better credentials. I gained the confidence in my ability to solve problems and work with others to achieve success, whether athletically or in my career. My time at Michigan helped create a work ethic that led to whatever success I've had. People such as coach Ron Warhurst and professors who took the time to guide my education were critical to my development.

While I was an education major, I transitioned to business after my running career ended. The critical thinking/problem solving skills allowed me to adapt and succeed in this area. I tell the kids I coach now, college is about learning to solve a problem, to complete a project. Every class, every professor provides a unique situation to succeed. It's about figuring out what the deliverable is in each class. That carries over into life … meeting the expectations of any situation.
Show back of card. Katie Miler, women’s soccer, class of 2008

Katie Miler

Associate, Drinker Biddle & Reath - Women's Soccer

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My experiences wearing the Block M, whether on the field, in the community, or in the classroom, shaped who I am and how I approach my career. After graduation, I immediately put my time management skills to use as a student at Michigan Law School. Now as an attorney, I am on a different team and face new challenges, but playing soccer at Michigan prepared me for the demands of my profession.
Show back of card. Geena (Gall) Lara, women’s track and field, class of 2009

Geena (Gall) Lara

Runs for Nike, American Olympian - Women's Track & Field

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Attending the University of Michigan was the best decision I ever made. I never knew how big of an impact being a student-athlete at Michigan would have on my life. It helped me mature, be more efficient with my time, and be able to balance my life. A Michigan Wolverine prides itself on being the best academically and in our sport and that meant getting the job done in the classroom first and foremost, and then making it happen on the track.

My four years in Ann Arbor were the best four years of my life. I gained lifelong friends, memories, experiences and a degree from a prestigious university. And above all, I got to wear the Block M on my chest. I would not be where I am at now if I didn't attend U-M and compete for my coach, Mike McGuire. Even now, I continue to represent the tradition of excellence that Michigan prides itself in. I will always be a Michigan Wolverine.
Show back of card. Zoe Mattingly, women’s swimming and diving, class of 2016

Zoe Mattingly

Women’s Swimming and Diving

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Personal growth is so important to me in athletics because you aren’t always going to have good days, weeks, or even seasons. However as I’ve competed at Michigan I’ve learned that it is about much more than performing your best, it is about what you have learned along the way and how you have bettered yourself as a person during the process. Focusing on growth rather than results breeds a much more positive environment, which in turn usually results in better performance.