May 17, 2012

Catching Up with Women's Rowing Alum Katie Gonzalez '05

After a successful collegiate career rowing at Santa Clara, Katie Gonzalez (KG) took full advantage of the skills she picked up along the way, landing a job at Cisco. Gonzalez caught up with SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) to reflect on her experience at Santa Clara as a rower and how that translated when she entered the real world and began working at Cisco.

SCB: What is your favorite memory of rowing at Santa Clara?
KG: Wow...there are a lot of memories. It sounds crazy, but some of my best memories are of spring break. As rowers, we had to stay on campus and had 2x or 3x practices, but it was such a great time to spend with the team and we got creative and had a lot of fun amidst all the workouts.  I also loved the early mornings being out on the water, it was so calm and beautiful.   

SCB: How did you find/land your job at Cisco?
KG: I interviewed with Cisco via on-campus recruiting that the Career Center put on. Normal Career Fair followed by on-campus interviews and then one at Cisco.   

SCB: Was it difficult to find a job and be a student-athlete? How did you balance all those responsibilities?
KG: It can be difficult because you are already balancing school, rowing, a campus job and then trying to find a full-time job is just another thing to add to the mix. I just kept telling myself that my primary reason for going to college is to find a job, so that was a priority for me. Both my professors and my coaches understood, thought it sometimes meant doing make-up workouts at a different time. For me, having more to balance actually helped me be more successful. I had to schedule my time and focus my attention, so my grades were actually better when I was rowing. In the real world we have to balance multiple priorities every day, so I think this was a good lesson to learn. 

SCB: What did you learn as a student-athlete that applied to the business world as well?
KG: I think most of what you learn being a student-athlete you can apply in the real world. Other than the technique specific to the sport, most of what you learn transfers very well. Pushing your limits, teamwork, leadership and a strong work-ethic are all things that you need to be successful. I really feel that being a student-athlete helped me learn about myself and the type of person I wanted to become.   

SCB: Do you have any suggestions for student-athletes in terms of how to prepare for life after college?
KG: I actually found that adjusting to the work world was a bigger adjustment than I expected. I guess my advice would be to realize you're not in college anymore; you're an adult. I would also advise against living with students. I ended up living with people still in school during my first year working and that wasn't a great idea because our schedules were so different and we had different priorities.