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Bump, Set, Spike, Study

“This was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had and one of the best investments I ever made in myself,” explains Katelin Batten about her MS in Leadership and Organizations. Serving as the associate head coach for women’s volleyball at the University of Denver, Katelin is a Pioneer through and through. In fact, she enjoyed her experience at University College so much, she chose to continue on as a graduate student and is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in HR Employment Relations.

“My motivation was just to further my career as I saw it as an investment in myself and in my coaching career,” she said. “And it really truly made me a better coach for my players.”

Finding the motivation to work full-time as a coach while attending graduate school was easy for Katelin, who transforms lessons learned in class and applies them on the court (and vice versa).

Katelin’s coaching career started early, being mentored by great figures who she refers to as “legends” in the field. She took a coaching position at the University of Denver when she was 23 and hasn’t looked back. “I love being able to love what I do.”

Coaches are particularly drawn to the Leadership and Organizations and Strategic HR programs, which focus on cultivating collaborative leadership skills that help add value to organizations and teams. The programs dig into issues like change management, human relations, risk assessment, handling crisis, and the promotion of values.

“Part of a coach’s job is to provide leadership to players, while continually learning,” said Dr. Pat Greer, academic director for both the Leadership and Organizations and Strategic HR programs. “These programs offer lifelong learning skills, with a deeper understanding of what leadership is and how to ‘live’ it in any coaching position.”

Working as a recruiting coordinator, Katelin spends time interacting with prospective students and their families. “As I’m going through this HR certificate, when we get to the topic of recruiting I can provide a different perspective because I’m recruiting athletes,” she said. The online course format allows Katelin to stay on the road while continuing with school. From Italy to the Dominican Republic, she has been “in class” around the world, learning new ways to cultivate her coaching skills.

“My coaching style can help someone perform better,” she said. “I’ve learned tools I can use to tap into my players’ intrinsic motivation to do something.”

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