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Business Career Blog
When do you feel most alive?
By Lauren Sokol ’12
April 29, 2021
My identity during my time at Hamilton was very much centered around my identity as an athlete and teammate. When a team is rooted in compassion, trust, accountability, and humor, magic will undoubtedly happen. That was my experience as a member of the women’s lacrosse team and, as a result, we saw great success.
I was so moved by my experience on our team and was so inspired by Coach Kloidt’s ability to cultivate that environment, that I decided to go into coaching myself upon graduation to give other student-athletes the same feeling. That move was one of the best decisions I could have made for my career in the sport now.
I spent three incredible years working under Kim Lowry Masimore, the current head women’s lacrosse coach at Dickinson College. Coach Masimore was our assistant coach at Hamilton before becoming a head coach and has since become my mentor and great friend. I spent one year as her assistant at Bridgewater College in Virginia and moved to Carlisle, Pa., for the next two years to serve as her assistant at Dickinson.
Working under Coach Masimore right after graduating from Hamilton was the best thing for me at the time. I not only grew as a leader by helping her lay new strategic and cultural frameworks for our program, but I also learned what it meant to be a professional in a larger organization like an athletic department and, on a larger scale, a college. If you are a student really interested in going into collegiate coaching after Hamilton but are having reservations, I encourage you to take the leap. No matter how short or long your stint in coaching is, I promise you won’t regret it!
I hit a point in my coaching career where I felt a desire to impact the world through sport from a different angle, which led me to pursue my M.B.A. at the University of Oregon with a concentration in sports business. After a struggle with my economics class at Hamilton as my only taste of anything business-related, I felt I needed to press reset on my analytical skill set and build it back up through business school.
I was struck by how much my Hamilton education and my time in coaching had prepared me for graduate school and my subsequent experiences in the corporate world. I knew while I was at Hamilton that written and oral communication skills were emphasized and important, but I don’t think that really hit me until entering the business world. It really is ALL about communicating effectively with others.
I didn’t have a job lined up immediately after graduating with my MBA in 2017. It took me five months of trying to do everything the “right way” to realize that maybe the “right way” isn’t always right for everyone. I had tried going through my network to find an open position, but nothing was falling into place.
During this time of solitude, job, and soul searching, I found myself asking that key question again. What made me feel most alive?
I ended up applying to a digital content strategist role with IRONMAN, the global endurance sports company now known as The IRONMAN Group headquartered in Tampa, Florida. I had no contacts there when I applied, but I had a gut feeling that what I was looking for might align with the life-altering experiences that the company provided athletes through their events.
I am now three and a half years into my career at The IRONMAN Group and am currently the senior brand manager on our Global Marketing Team.
One of my close friends told me once on a hike in Oregon, “It’s a walk in the woods, not a walk in the park.” My path from English major and lacrosse player to brand management for an endurance sports company was not easy or straight, but the views along the way have been so worth it.
I have no idea where the path will lead next, but I plan to continue to follow whatever makes me feel the most alive, carrying everything I have learned along the way with me. My learnings from Hamilton will forever remain in my pack. I wouldn’t have made it this far without them.