Ed Note: In 2014, Caylah Cruickshank entered Tulane University as a top-rated student athlete on a full scholarship amid wild expectations of success on the basketball court and in the classroom.
After three years of hard work and exciting highs at the highly rated university, she leaves having met those expectations and some.
Here’s how she sees her journey forward…
My name is Caylah Cruickshank and I recently graduated from Tulane University.
On May 19, 2018, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Minor in Marketing.
As a Division 1 scholarship student-athlete, I earned Tulane’s prestigious “student-athlete honor roll” distinction throughout my college career. I maintained above a “3.0” in each semester, and was rewarded for achieving a “4.0” in my junior year. In my final year at Tulane, I was named Team Captain for the Women’s Basketball Team, and was nominated for an outstanding “Community Service Achievement” award…
A few months before graduation, I was continuously asked what my next move would be. I reflected on whether I should continue playing basketball (seek out professional European teams), explore work opportunities (I was looking at a job with a life insurance company in New Orleans) or pursue my Master’s degree either in the United States or Canada.
While at Tulane, I had many mentors who influenced my decision. I learned about the position of a “Graduate Assistant” through sports. I learned that I could apply for this position, which involves working for the sports department at a university (paid), and the University pays for your credits towards a Master’s degree. I applied to several positions and finally got the one I wanted most: Oklahoma University. In February, I applied to Oklahoma University’s Athletic Diversity Council as an aspiring graduate assistant (for Fall 2018) and was hired by the program’s Athletic Director.
I will be working in the Marketing department for Oklahoma Athletics, covering all NCAA sports at the University. In other words, I’ll be “on the other side” of the action now, bringing exposure to young athletes at the University.
I will pursue my post-graduate studies at the University of Oklahoma, seeking a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA). I hope to one day work in the private or public sector, and potentially use my Business degree to develop new sport initiatives for the community. Throughout my college experience I have had the opportunity to serve the New Orleans community with partners such as “Upturn Arts” and “RECreate”, which are youth organizations that promote self-esteem and healthy living through sports and art. My community service with these partners made me aware of how sports could positively impact our youth and inspired me to make a difference through athletics.