News - Panther Volleyball, Summer Research Produce Valuable Workplace Skills

Panther Volleyball, Summer Research Produce Valuable Workplace Skills

By Carla Morris

Marcotte-Wolff-3Drilling the ball over the net, acing a serve, stretching, diving and drilling again—there’s no doubt that Lady Panthers cultivate multitasking capabilities on the volleyball court. But where do all those skills lead after graduation?

To success in the workplace says former Lady Panther Jenna (Marcotte ’11) Wolff, coordinator of clinical research at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.

Each day, Jenna kicks into “multi-tasker” mode managing recruitment, project collaborators, case conferences, tests, data analyses and more.  

“The things that helped me the most when transitioning from college to career were the ability to work on a team and the ability to communicate,” she says. 

Wanted Just About Everywhere: Teamwork and Communication

Marcotte-Wolff_ResearchAs a student, Jenna embraced a double dose of teamwork and communication: one, on the volleyball court and two, as a student researcher participating in GU’s Summer Research Experience.

“I worked on a project with Shani Golovay where we developed a genetics lab and course curriculum utilizing a device called the 4300 DNA Analyzer,” says Jenna. 

In retrospect, these opportunities to move forward together toward a shared goal proved golden. “I found that my experience in teamwork, both from playing volleyball and group projects, actually played to my advantage," says Jenna.

Every Job Requires InteractionMarcotte-Wolff1

As a student, Jenna saw value in expanding her knowledge. She has since come to see the added value of engaging others applying that knowledge. Nearly every job, she points out, demands interaction. 

“In school, we often focus on whether or not we know the material. Though college gives a great foundation for individuals as they move into their prospective careers, the most important thing is being able to apply that in your workplace.”

Keeping Up the Conversation

Good volleyball players don’t let communication flag during play. Moment by moment, play by play, they make decisions, communicate those decisions to teammates and commit their actions accordingly. Jenna acknowledges a parallel in the workplace.

Marcotte-Wolff-headshot“When you can identify strengths in your co-workers, delegate tasks appropriately and fulfill your own obligations, the workplace moves much smoother. Communication goes hand in hand with that. Open discussion allows work processes to move much quicker and provides opportunity to learn and grow as you go.” 

Leveraging What You Don’t Know

In reality, true “know-it-alls” are rare in the workplace. Jenna believes students transitioning into career need to know it’s not only okay, but good to acknowledge what you don’t know.

“Though our knowledge base from school may be extensive, you will learn so much more from those around you if you can learn to say, ‘I don't know how to do that,’ and, in turn, share your knowledge and ideas with your co-workers who are saying ‘I don't know’ as well.”

Learn More

Inspired and Inspiring: Jenna Marcotte '11 Takes Volleyball Skills to Western Uganda
Survival of the Fastest: Newcomer Mau Helps Students Keep Up With Biology’s Rapid Strides
Research Team to Publish in Stanford U. Scientific Journal

When you fund a scholarship at GU, you help a student cultivate character, faith and skills valued in the workplace. Thank you for giving.

This story was published on August 23, 2019

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