Rising Stars Spotlight: Sierra Hassel

Sierra Hassel currently attends the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing her M.Ed. in Sports Management while also interning at Women Leaders in College Sports in Partnerships & Development. Sierra recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was on the gymnastics team. Sierra double majored, earning her B.S. in Accounting and Management. During her time as a student-athlete, Sierra was a member of SAAC for four years and held leadership positions as the Big Ten Representative and Vice President. Sierra was also a student worker in the Athletic Business Office. Nothing fuels Sierra more than the opportunity to help student-athletes realize and reach their potential inside and out of athletics by setting them up for success and investing in their futures. 

Since beginning your internship with Women Leaders, what has been your most significant learning moment thus far?

I could have not asked for a better team to intern with! I think one the most significant learning moments for me so far is realizing what a team can accomplish when they have a high level of energy, passion, and purpose. Seeing this first hand has helped me learn what kind of environment I want to be a part of and add to in my career journey. 

What was your deciding factor in choosing Nebraska as a gymnastics student-athlete?

There were many things that drove me to choose Nebraska for my collegiate student-athlete experience but the biggest was the opportunity to be challenged and grow in an environment that felt like home. I knew I wouldn’t be in line up the day I walked on campus and that is exactly what I wanted. Nebraska is a place that would provide me the resources and support to become the best I could be both athletically and academically. 

You’ve had incredible recognition as a Division I student-athlete, including the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, Nebraska Heart and Soul Award, Big Ten NCAA Women of the Year Nominee, and more! What has been the most impactful honor you’ve had as a former gymnast?

I think the most impactful recognition has been being named Nebraska’s Female Student-Athlete of the year. This has meant the most to me for many reasons, but the one that stands out the most is that this award encompasses all four years of my career. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it past my freshman year at times. The feeling of not only making it through, but trusting the process and finishing my career this way has proven to myself the growth I was able to attain not just as an athlete but as a person. I cannot thank Nebraska enough for the opportunity to be a student-athlete and believing in me. This experience had enhanced my life as an athlete, student and an overall person. 

What drew you to want to pursue a career in college athletics?

 Heading into college, I honestly did not know a career in college athletics was an option. Within my first semester at Nebraska I was introduced to SAAC by one of the seniors on my team. Ever since then I was intrigued with the idea of having a voice and making an immediate impact on the student-athlete experience. As I began to make friends with all the student-athletes on campus I realized how amazing they are and that supporting their careers, ensuring they get the most out of the experience than they could have expected, is the type of environment I want to be a part of. 

What was your favorite moment from Women Leaders X?

What didn’t I love about Women Leaders X?! If I had to choose, I think my favorite moment was reading the chat. It was empowering, humbling, and fascinating to be exposed to so many women leaders. Watching them connect and engage with one another, the support and energy even through text, was undeniable! It really proved what a great community we have! 
 

My most surprising quality is:

My resiliency. I can’t think of anything that could be thrown at me that I would back down from or allow to affect my goals and passions. 

I cannot live without:

Facetiming my friends!!!

What is one piece of advice you wish to share with fellow Rising Stars?

In the midst of where you are going, don’t forget to enjoy where you are. Every day presents itself with new opportunities and challenges that are worthy of being embraced with open arms. Don’t forget to enjoy the little things!!  

Rising Stars is a members-only program designed to assist emerging professionals in developing, connecting, and advancing in their careers. If you're a student, intern, graduate assistant, or young professional with less than three years of full-time experience, this is the program for you!

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