We all have dreams.
Some want to be actors, doctors, or professional athletes. Me? I wanted to become an international sports agent. I grew up in a very active sports family that participated in baseball, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, etc. My goal since I was young was to carry my love of sports into a career in agency and ultimately bring the next Ichiro over to the states. However, by the time I got into my final weeks at the University of Washington, my career goals took a complete turn. As a planner, all through high school and college I had every single semester, class and grad school goals organized to a tee. I knew I was going to graduate the UW with a major in Law, Societies, and Justice and Political Science, attend law school right after, then begin working as a sports agent. However, the closer I got to my graduation date, the more I began to doubt the path my life was going in.
After interning during my senior year at an NFL agency here in Seattle, I found the agency industry to be beyond interesting and always exciting, but began to feel like this was not the right industry for me. On top of that, I could never figure out what field of law I enjoyed. It was then that I began to reflect on what I really enjoyed in life, and that was sports and community service. Throughout my college career, I volunteered both domestically and internationally. I mentored underprivileged high school kids through the University of Washington Dream Project, I traveled to Japan to assist in in relief efforts following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and I even volunteered with the Roma people in Italy and Hungary when I studied abroad in Europe. I realized how fulfilled my life becomes when I give back to communities, and I knew that if I could combine that with my passion for sports, I would never work another day in my life.
Currently I am working for the Seattle Seahawks Street Team, working events put on by the organization, and I hope to stay in this sports industry to someday work within a community outreach department for a major sports team. I may have realized this newly found career goal a little late, but this change did teach me one important point; things do not always turn out the way we plan, and that’s okay.
This is advice for recent graduates or students still in school, both college and high school: You don’t always need to keep yourself and your plans trapped in a timetable. It’s important to keep an open mind about your career, your goals, and ultimately your life, because who knows? You may be on your way to become a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer, but will find something else that you may love, and there is nothing wrong with changing up the game plan. It took me my entire high school and college career to understand that, but what truly matters is that you should create a life for yourself that you will never want to take a vacation from. (end)
— Aleyna Yamaguchi