Elite athletes are often the best at what they do and have a host of transferrable skills that make them top talent in the workplace. Time management, resilience and problem-solving skills can easily be transferred to the corporate world.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to get companies to hire athletes who need that flexible schedule. But as soon as they hire one into the workplace, they realize that there is a host of skills that they can bring, including inspiration.
Morgan Tracey was studying for the BAR exam late one night and turned on the TV and saw this sport called skeleton. Ever since she was a little girl she had always wanted to go to the Olympics. So she made a deal with herself that if she passed the BAR exam, she would head to the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center and try skeleton. Four years isn’t long in skeleton because it’s a skill sport and the best athletes have been in it for 13 or 14 years.
The USOC Athlete Career and Education (ACE) Program
She realized that if she wanted to make this happen, she couldn’t be waiting tables for 50 hours a week only to make end’s meet. A fellow athlete had told her that there was a program that allowed athletes to train, work and fund their careers, but that the job would still allow her training take priority.
The USOC Athlete Career and Education (ACE) Program had connections with corporations and business that were willing to work with athletes while they trained. She was hoping for the ACE Program to not only give her the ability to put training first, but also put the 3 years she spent in law school to good use. After meeting with Adecco — one of the United States Olympic Committee’s sponsors— Morgan was placed in to the ACE Program, and soon found employment at GE.
Morgan’s job at GE entails working with deputy Senior Counsel. She does everything from looking at contracts to letting the human resource managers know the laws, how they’ve changed and how it will affect their management processes. For Morgan, the best thing about working through the ACE Program is being able to work around her training schedule while still putting her skills and education to work.
The Support Network
Boyfriend and skeleton and bobsled athlete Kyle Tress states, “The support network is everything. It’s such a crucial part of training and competing. I think back to the support that I had with my family. I couldn’t have done it without them. I think Morgan has that same support system. In addition to that now we have each other.”
Morgan agrees, “The support system is something that I don’t think I can do without. I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend that’s also an elite athlete. So he kind of knows that we don’t do what normal people our age do. The people that you love and care about know that you have your eye on the prize, and that’s going to the Olympics.”
Her co-workers at GE are also part of the support network for Morgan. Many feel that being able to watch Morgan and see her succeed allows them to feel like they’ve had a little part in that, and that it’s like bringing part of that dream to everyone.