College students get plenty of academic and personal advice from professors, parents and classmates. College student-athletes, living a large part of their lives on a very public stage, get even more advice from coaches, tutors, officials and of course, fans.
Once that athlete graduates, that group of advisors tends to shrink. That's one reason the UWAA has partnered with the UW Advising, Career and Exploratory Studies Center to offer the Cowboy 2 Cowboy mentoring program for current students exploring career options.
Cowboy 2 Cowboy is not only for college athletes. But for former basketball star Jason McManamen, the program has mentors who understood the transition from the playing field to the workplace. McManamen graduated from UW in 2016 with a B.S. in Management and in 2017 with a B.S. in Marketing both from the College of Business.
Thanks in part to those mentors, McManamen has found a career working with Starbucks, in Seattle, Wash. He moved to that city in January, and is working as a store manager in training. In six to nine months he'll be ready to manage a store on his own.
McManamen has family and friends in the Seattle area so a move there was fairly smooth for the Wyoming native. And the six alumni he met with in Seattle before his move gave him plenty of time and attention as he considered his future. Getting guidance from recent UW graduates helped him consider his options of continuing to play basketball from his ideas about applying his double-major in business and marketing.
Former UW basketball player Brandon Ewing (B.A. '16) and football player Casey Bramlet (B.S. '03) helped McManamen greatly with the transition. "Even though they took a different path from what I'm doing, talking to them about what they did helped a lot," he said.
McManamen hasn't left basketball completely behind as he focuses on his new career. He said he'd like to be involved as coach, one day. But for now, he sees a lot of similarities between his mindset as an athlete and the way he's focused on his career. "Some athletes focus on a career right after college, and some after a 15-year career in sports. But just like sports, you have to be passionate about a career to be successful. You have to have a drive, in order to compete."
For more information about the Cowboy 2 Cowboy mentoring program, please contact the UWAA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 766-4166.