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. Cassandra Gelov, cheerleading, class of 2015

Cassandra Gelov


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Michigan cheerleading has been the highlight of my collegiate experience. When I look back at everything I have done and accomplished over the last four years, I am most proud and nostalgic about being a part of Michigan Athletics. I have created a family away from home, one that works hard together, struggles together and celebrates great wins together. I have learned more about myself as a teammate, leader and friend than I will in any other organization. Cheerleading has provided me with incredible experiences, from cheering in the Big House to traveling around the country with our football and basketball teams. It has been an unforgettable journey and I am grateful to have been a part of something bigger than myself, the Michigan traditions and the Michigan family. Go Blue!
Show back of card. Max Bielfeldt, Class of 2015, men’s basketball

Max Bielfeldt

Men’s Basketball

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Being a part of this program is something that is pretty special because coach Beilein is big on recruiting personalities as well as talent. Guys that come here are always team players. You have guys that come from different backgrounds. You always see guys that are able to get along and hang out outside of the gym. It is pretty unique there, and I think it shows on the court as well, with that tight knit group. You have special relationships that form on the floor as well and result in wins and better play.
Show back of card. Jeff Porter, men’s track and field, class of 2007

Jeff Porter

Assistant Director, Alumni Engagement, University of Michigan - Men's Track & Field

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My experience at Michigan is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I was able to compete at the highest level in my sport but also had the opportunity to learn from world-renowned faculty members. This dual role helped to prepare me for life after college and is something that I am truly grateful for. The University is committed to the athletic and academic success of each of its student-athletes and I am a testament to that commitment. The Michigan experience aided in my development as a person and ensured that I am prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Go Blue!
Show back of card. Will Meter, men’s lacrosse, class of 2015

Will Meter

Men’s Lacrosse

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The support that is offered to student-athletes at the University of Michigan is unparalleled. No other University provides the resources and staff that are committed to a student-athlete's success both in the classroom and on the field. This support allows student-athletes to understand that they are a part of something much more than themselves. They are a part of the family that is University of Michigan Athletics.