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. Chris Fetter, baseball, class of 2009

Chris Fetter

Professional Scout, Los Angeles Angels - Baseball

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Choosing to attend Michigan is and will always be the best decision of my life. From the moment you set foot on campus, you feel the history, nostalgia, and a part of something that is much bigger than yourself. The education you will receive is top notch, with Michigan consistently ranked in the top-20 of Universities across the world. You will learn amongst the best and brightest and be pushed in the classroom. As a student-athlete, the student part comes first and Michigan athletics has done a great job of creating a student-athlete Academic Center designed specifically for you, the athletes. Not to mention the countless tutors, advisors and study groups at your disposal whenever you may need them. The men you go to battle with on the field will become your brothers and being a Michigan student-athlete is something that will bring you a sense of pride for the rest of your life. I was fortunate enough to be a part of three Big Ten Championship teams and continue my playing career at the professional level after graduation. Memories were made that will no doubt last a lifetime.
Show back of card. Sachi Sugiyama

Sachi Sugiyama

Women's Gymnastics

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Every day provides a different learning experience and these coaches are awesome in helping push us forward. In college, you're never at your peak of learning. For every day I go into the gym, I'm excited because there's always something new to learn. It never gets boring. Even during hard times, the coaches are always there for support no matter what's happening. They're always looking out for you. The team environment that they've created is so strong that it's impossible to be uncomfortable.
Show back of card. Mackenzie Ellis, field hockey, class of 2016

Mackenzie Ellis

Field Hockey

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Being a student-athlete at Michigan has allowed me numerous opportunities that I would never have been able to experience had I gone to a different university. Michigan is truly a special place that has become incredibly important in shaping who I have become as a person and not just a student-athlete.
Show back of card. Nikki Peters, women’s gymnastics, class of 1999

Nikki Peters

Park Supervisor of Recreation, Chicago Parks Department - Women's Gymnastics

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The recognition and adulation you receive from being an athlete at Michigan and sporting that Block M carries such an amazing amount of respect. My coaches, academic advisors, and other student-athletes on campus created a standard of greatness that I continue to showcase on a daily basis. I reflect on my time in Ann Arbor almost every day. The memories, the friendships and the life lessons I've gained are incomparable.