Several years ago, I was contacted by a company that specifically recruits student-athletes. Part of what the recruiter told me is that student-athletes are used to being team contributors and more often know their "roles" in a team environment while still trying to best individual they can be. They also know how to balance and prioritize responsibilities based the fact that many of them have academics, athletics and lesser work responsibilities compared to non-student athletes. This doesn't take into consideration that some non-student-athletes have jobs outside of school as well and have to juggle that responsibility.
Also, as a student-athlete, I had civic/social responsibilities as well. We had a mandate to volunteer within the community every quarter (citizenship). As for self-awareness and leadership, I would suspect they could talk to coaches and people that have had some direct interaction with that person. Sort like calling a former employer (although you can't ask those kinds of questions in most cases for the average employee).
And there's that desire to win (succeed)....
But I understand the criteria that they assess student-athletes on because it seems similar to the philosophy that some companies have of hiring veterans. There are certain attributes perceived within that group that will make them an overall better gamble to hire.
And to answer the OP's question in not so specific terms, it depends on what their focus happened to be in undergrad. For example, Jeff Laski who played at the University of Illinois (UIUC) is currently in law school as is Kristi Miller (Georgia Tech). Not sure what Jeff's major was in undergrad, but Kristi was a non-engineering (HTS) undergrad major at Tech. Ryan Smith who graduated from GT a few years ago, I think, works for DuPont as a Chemist (Biochemistry undergrad).
Last edited by Gemini; 01-12-2013 at 12:17 PM.