An Olympic-Sized Career
Given that Nicki Robinson spent almost every day of her four years at Viterbo University practicing or playing one sport or another, it’s little surprise her first job after graduation is working with athletes.
Robinson was the rare three-sport athlete at Viterbo, participating in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She graduated in 2004 with a business degree, and after earning a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Robinson was hired in January 2006 to work at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Robinson actually started working at the training center in the fall of 2005 as an intern. Upon completing the internship, she was hired at the center as an operations specialist. She was quickly promoted to the position of Programs Coordinator in March 2006, and three months later was promoted again to her current position of assistant manager of operations.
In her current role, Robinson’s responsibilities include hiring an intern each semester, overseeing the center’s resident athlete program, coordinating scholarship programs for resident athletes who attend college while training at the center, and housing residents and short-term camps on a monthly basis.
“The funny part of my job is that there really is no such thing as a typical day,” she says. “I have the common everyday things I do like check emails and voice messages, along with updating the housing map and attending meetings.
“However, each day brings something new. On a weekly basis, I easily meet with 5–10 athletes to talk about various topics, ranging from their training and practice schedule to educational questions.”
Robinson also attends resident practices at least twice a month in order to see coaches and athletes face-to-face, and she also does a lot of training of interns. “Each day brings something a bit different from the day before,” she says.
As a three-sport college athlete, Robinson participated in volleyball and softball all four years at Viterbo and also played basketball her sophomore and senior years. Needless to say, she was one busy student at Viterbo, but it also helped her learn some important skills she’s already applying to the working world.
“For me, I think having such a busy schedule during college forced me to develop multi-tasking skills, as well as some organizational skills,” Robinson says. “In addition, having had both coaching and playing experience at Viterbo has really helped me when it comes to relating to the athletes and coaches here at the training center.”
Robinson also says that her time as a V-Hawk has helped make her the person she is today.
“Being a student and an athlete at Viterbo definitely helped get me to where I am today,” she says. “There are numerous people in the Viterbo community that have helped me achieve success, whether it be in the classroom, on the court or field, professionally, or even in life in general. Viterbo has that rare feature of being such a close-knit community, which I feel really helps in allowing students to succeed.”
Robinson says that though she misses her family and friends in Wisconsin, she enjoys living in Colorado. Depending on who the U.S. Olympic Committee sends to Beijing, she may have the chance to attend the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, and she says with the Pan American Games in July 2007 and the Summer Olympics the next year, she can’t think of a more fun and exciting place to be.