We had the opportunity to speak with Nicole Ross, U.S. Olympic fencer and participant in the USOC Athlete Career and Education Program. Nicole represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympic Games and now has her sights set on the medal podium in Rio! Nicole has a bachelor’s degree in art history from Columbia University and resides in New York City. She joined the Athlete Career and Education program in 2014 working part-time with the Adecco family for the Win4Youth program.
What is your role at Adecco?
I am a program coordinator for Adecco’s social and charitable initiative, Win4Youth. Each year, Adecco’s global headquarters in Zurich selects a particular sport for clients and colleagues to participate in throughout the year, with a goal of raising money for impoverished and underserved youth around the world. This year’s sport is triathlon. In my role, I help with all aspects of the North American arm of Win4Youth.
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is twofold – first, I love getting to interact with colleagues who are excited and enthusiastic about Win4Youth. So many people that I work with are thoughtful, kind and appreciative people who truly want to give back to their communities. Second, it’s extremely gratifying to know that in some small way, I am having a direct and positive impact on the charities and the children that benefit from Win4Youth.
How has having a flexible job helped you in your sport?
The flexible nature of my job has allowed me to reach new heights in my sport. I’m now able to train full-time with an increased focus on my physical fitness. Last quad was just about getting to the Olympics – this quad is about trying to be the best in the world. Our competition schedule is extensive and lasts from October to August each year, so there’s no way I’d be able to travel to all the necessary competitions without a flexible job.
How do you prepare for your next big competition?
To prepare, I do four days of strength and conditioning training, two days of intense cardiovascular work and a minimum of five days of actual fencing, lessons and footwork per week. I put in at least one session with my sports psychologist and try to stay on my training diet, which is low in dairy and gluten. Recovery and rest are also important to me – three days before traveling I will begin to taper my training sessions and get as much sleep as possible!
Why should companies consider hiring athletes in the Athlete Career Program?
The Athlete Career Program is a unique opportunity for both the employer and the athlete. In general, athletes are trained to not only work quickly, efficiently and effectively but to have honed communication and listening skills. Most athletes in The Program have traveled nationally and internationally and have strong problem-solving skills. I know I’m always eager to listen and learn new skills as well as share my experiences from sport and travel. Overall, I think it’s a great advantage for both athlete and employer.
Anything else you would like to share?
I feel extremely fortunate to have the resources of the Athlete Career Program as I train to qualify for my second Olympic Games. Thank you, Adecco! Go USA!