BU Baseball hosts fifth annual professional engagement night


Freshman Nico Ingolls chats with BU Baseball Alumnus Shane Woelful

Jack Dixon, Sports Editor

Bloomsburg Baseball held its fifth annual professional engagement night on Wednesday, January 4 at Jameson Elementary school in Bucks County. The event hosted over 40 established alumni, as well as the entire baseball team. The alumni were happy to attend the event, helping the players who wear the same jersey they once wore. 

Coach Mike Collins has been running the event for five years, with a focus on setting his players up for success beyond the diamond. All of this is in pursuit of making his 40-year plan a reality.  Collins has made a point to help each one of his players and their professional goals.  

“The plan involves community leadership programming, professional engagement opportunities, life-skills training, and a staff of professionals coming together to support Huskies outside of their athletic endeavors,” Collins added.

Jared Marshman, a pitcher for Bloomsburg said before coming to these events, he had very little experience with professionalism adding, “I feel like after the event is over, everyone is a lot more comfortable with themselves and more confident with professionalism.” 

Catcher, Tyler Wiik said he felt the event was a great way to network as well, saying, “I’ve met a ton of cool, unique alumni. There’s tons of opportunity at our disposal.” 

The alumni in attendance were from a variety of different career fields, each offering their own perspective and knowledge from their respective fields. They also saw value in the event and were happy to attend.  

Bloomsburg Baseball alumni, Vinnie James describes the 40-year plan as “the culmination of everything you want to accomplish in your four years here, that will set you up for the rest of your life.” He would later add “it’s critical to [Bloomsburg coaches] that their athletes are set up for success moving forward.” 

The event kicked off with a “speed networking” activity where players were given 90 seconds to introduce themselves and get acquainted with each alumni. Collins says this activity is a good ice-breaker to get players comfortable with talking to their predecessors.  

While most of the players were doing that, a handful of players who will be graduating in the spring were taken into a separate room. These players had mock interviews with one or two alumni from the career path they were pursuing.  

After this, the alumni gathered in their designated career-specific rooms for break-out sessions. There were two 30-minute sessions, where players could go to a room and have an open, back-and-forth conversation with professionals from the field they are pursuing. 

While this event is only the fifth of its kind, Collins intends to continue the event for as long as he can, and his ideas have been adopted by both the wrestling team and the softball team. Both teams held networking events using Zoom this past month.