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Networking connections important for new alumni success

Once a mountaineer, always a mountaineer is a well-known rallying cry for the Gold and Blue faithful. Stephanie Mock embraced that mantra during her time as a student at WVU and has continued that dedication to her alma mater as she progresses in her professional career. 

Mock graduated in 2013 with her bachelor’s degree in sport management. During her education, she was a strength and conditioning intern for both the WVU and University of Pittsburgh Olympic sports teams. 

However, it wasn’t necessarily her classroom lessons that defined her experience, but rather, it was the campus culture and extracurricular experiences that cemented her love for WVU. Among various activities, Mock competed on the WVU women's volleyball team. 

“The CPASS sport management department was a very close community where the professors did a great job making it feel like family,” Mock said. “My education has allowed me to realize where my passion was in athletics from my first internship.”

Mock currently serves as the director of Olympic Sport Strength and Conditioning at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. 

While Mock has made a name for herself at MSU, she has helped fellow Mountaineers develop professionally. She currently works with two WVU alumni in the strength and conditioning department - one of whom she hired, William (Billy) Cedar, who earned a master's degree in Coaching and Sport Ed program in May 2019. Nieko Torres graduated in August 2017 in athletic coaching education with a minor in strength and conditioning. 

“That is why it is great to build a network at your alma mater, to be able to rely back to hire great candidates for positions,” Mock said. 

Mock tells students to bolster their resumes with valuable internships. “Those experiences show you where your passion and talents lie,” she said.  

“People ask me why I am so happy, and it truly is because I love what I do. Remember that how you feel about your career will directly reflect on your performance in the workplace,” Mock explained. 

“West Virginia University is a special place. No matter what state you go to in the country, the Mountaineers are always known,” she added.

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