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Career Connections

Jonathan Stern ’18

How did you choose your area of study?

Through my experience in sports I realize that the battle extends far beyond the physical body. As I went through the ups-and-downs of my college running career I found purpose in learning how to help college student-athletes optimize wellness, development, and peak performance.

What role did internships play in shaping your career path?

I had the chance to observe interventions at a place that works with children with social and developmental disorders. This really helped me understand behavioral therapies and gave me a foundation for how a psychological practice works.

What would you recommend Lake Forest College students considering a career in your field do to prepare?

Read a few books or research articles about sport psychology concepts, consider enrolling as a student member for the Association for Applied Sport psychology, look at the resources at appliedsportpsych.org, and try to get in touch with somebody in the field.

What have you found the most rewarding in your career and life after graduation?

I get to have a graduate school experience where I develop true scientist-practitioner expertise. I get to work with athletes, take classes, conduct research, and go to conferences. I also love learning from my professors and they contribute great work to the field. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Research on institutional career development initiatives for athletes has become a hot topic at sport psychology conferences for a reason: numerous collegiate departments around the country wonder how well they are helping their athletes develop meaningful careers outside of sport. Lake Forest College’s Forester Game Plan puts us five steps ahead of the game when it comes to preparing athletes for great careers after sport. I am grateful for how the Forester Game Plan kept me accountable and pushed me to take action towards building my future.