After facing Pat Summitt’s withering stare for three-plus women’s basketball seasons, the watchful eyes of a corporation executive weren’t going to bother Sydney Smallbone.
Likewise, enduring a two-day assessment as part of a job interview felt like game day to the Tennessee senior guard.
Smallbone said that her Tennessee experiences, both in the classroom and on the court, served her well in landing a job with a multi-national logistics firm — a company whose name she can’t mention because the NCAA would consider it an implied endorsement.
“I felt I was very prepared, not just to talk about myself but what I’ve learned through sports and through the logistics program here,” Smallbone said. “Our logistics program is huge, top 10 for public and private universities. Tennessee is some place they go to try to recruit candidates.”
After making the cut from an originial field of approximately 700, Smallbone was one of 37 candidates brought in for the two-day assessment, during which company executives also were brought in to watch. Smallbone described the setting as feeling like a “fishbowl.”
“Having people stare at you is something that I do every day,” she said. “I wasn’t too nervous. As far as the people I was competing against, they hadn’t been as exposed to that as I have.”
The case-study part of the process was like the classroom and game day rolled into one for her.
“You had to know your stuff and apply it,” Smallbone said. “You go into games, you work and prepare for it and then you kind of like to get to show what you worked for.”
This company apparently likes Tennessee athletes. Smallbone said that Lady Vols soccer goalie Molly Baird also was hired.
“You’re dealing with millions of dollars every day,” Smallbone said. “Mistakes are very publicized. It’s the same with sports.”