CUW The Beacon

The Voice of Concordia Students Since 1984

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When students graduate from Concordia University Wisconsin, they are well prepared to enter the workforce and many do so by staying at CUW for the beginning of their careers. While Concordia graduates can be found all around campus, the Athletics department boasts a particularly high number of former Falcons.

Emily Binley, the field hockey graduate assistant coach, is one of the many CUW alum turned employee. After graduating in December of 2022 with her bachelor’s in graphic design, and leaving behind a record-making four years anchoring the team’s defense as goalie, she returned to CUW field hockey this fall. Instead of preparing for practices by getting in her goalie gear, she instead packs her clipboard and whistle.

“I wanted to give back to the program that I played for,” she says.

Field hockey is not the only part of the athletics department that has valuable alumni on their staff. Megan Bauknecht is a full-time athletic trainer and recent graduate of the CUW athletic training master’s program.

“Being able to work at the college I went to and already having the trust of the coaches was something I was looking forward to,” Bauknecht shares about her transition from CUW student to employee.

Trust and understanding are important in any workforce. These alumni employees get the chance to start building this trust even before they earn their degrees.

Binley says, “We are a tight-knit family and go through the ups and downs together, that’s what makes me feel like part of the family.”

A common concern with someone coming to work at their alma mater is the fluidity of the transition from student to employee. Bauknecht shares that she thinks this transition applies to any fresh graduate, whether they are working at their alma mater or not. The same feeling of finally putting to work what you learned in school exists for everyone.

Becoming a coach of the team you recently retired from may have different feelings attached. “There’s time that you just want to get on the field and do it, but now I have to change my mindset to help everyone who is on the field to be able to execute their goals,” Binley says.

One of Bauknecht’s favorite things about CUW is that “Everything is right there.” For many people, their future careers are also right there.

Alumni are employed all over campus and in athletics. Athletic trainers, field hockey, men’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, wrestling, men’s and women’s volleyball, both men’s hockey teams, and esports, all have alumni on their staff.

These connections formed throughout each student’s time at CUW can play a major role in landing a job after graduation. It should be known that any graduate who takes an offer at CUW will not be alone in that decision.

Interested in learning more about CUW’s athletic programs? Check out our athletics website.

—Abigail McGue is a writer for The Beacon, the official student newspaper of Concordia University Wisconsin.