·         scotty thurman_240Name: Scotty Thurman

·         Year graduated:  Went to the U of A from 1992-1995 but got degree in 2003

·         What activities were you involved in at the University of Arkansas?

I was on the basketball team, and involved in various community service events, on and off campus.  My biggest involvement probably was the Student Advisory Board, which is a student athletic group for the SEC and I represented our men’s basketball team.

What was your major and why did you choose it?

I was a communication major and I wanted to be involved in sportscasting. 

·         What is your current job and where are you located?

I am located in Fayetteville, AR and I work at the U of A with men’s athletics—Director of Student Athlete Development is the name of my position.  

·         How would describe the transition from college to the professional world?

My transition is probably different than most, I played basketball for 11 years in various countries.  My professional career started later, traveling gave me a different approach to life and allows me to help different people from different backgrounds.  It gave me a different attitude in how to work hard.  The transition was easy because I had time to find what I really wanted to do. Time was best part, got to experience things abroad, which helped.   

·         What are some of your greatest challenges and what do you find rewarding about your job?

Challenges: Trying to prevent teenagers as they move from their teenage years is a challenge. I have to tell them basketball won’t last forever but the skills they learn will last forever.  Every student athlete comes from different athletics and background but I need them to realize they will probably going to go pro in something other than sports.  Communicating that to a young man, especially from a man who got to play for 11 years can be hard.  The truth can be difficult.

Rewarding:  The fact that I went to school and played here and now get the opportunity to improve the program and the lives of people walking the same life I did. I get to give back to the SEC and players and give them direction.

·         Since graduating, what organizations, if any, are you involved with and why?

The Yvonne Richardson Community Center, which I do to give back to kids and community.  This center is in East Fayetteville and I get to give back to people less fortunate than myself.

Backpack Give-Away at The Boys and Girls Club, and this is also an opportunity to work with kids and help them.

Youth Bridge and I help in various functions.  Youth Bridge helps families in transition, various ones from moving on after a death or a house fire, and it works to help people stay on their feet.  Everyone needs help, not always financial but also spiritual.  We are all faced with different circumstances and it’s nice to get to help them.   

·         What advice would you give to a current freshman on campus?

To a freshman, I would say use time wisely; there is always free time and there is always something that needs to be done.  Also encourage them to realize the Career Development Center and a lot of other resources.  One of the biggest misconceptions when a kid comes to college they think they go to college, finish college and then get a job, but more important they need to have what they need to obtain a job-resume, grades, etc.  It is important to look around and realize, U of A is big school and there are a lot of different companies to pluck students think will be good employees.  They should use this school as a platform to spring board into a successful career. 

·         What advice would you give a graduating senior?

To a senior, they should participate in as many career fairs and job workshops and also make sure that you have some interview skills you have learned.  Use the Career Development Center and education opportunities the university gives.   They should worry about their brand and carry themselves in doing the right things, so that when they walk across the stage there is no lag in getting g a job in this job market. 

·         What advice would you give any U of A athlete, especially those thinking about going into professional sports?

Do research on the possibilities; do research on the actual job opportunities in your chosen profession and also do research on an agent that can satisfy you and manage your career like you want it to be.  Also be realistic that after that research the average career is 3 years.  So knowing that, and graduating at 22 and being 26 after your career, you need to have a plan.  So hopefully you have a degree to be able to get job.