By Nick Knopik, contributing writer and former assistant director of leadership and service

It’s a story as old as high school sports.

A talented athlete has dreams of playing at the next level. They work hard in practice. They spend time in the gym. They leave their heart on the field (or the court, the rink, or in the pool). They hope that a college scout or coach finds them. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. Despite the athlete’s hard work, much is left up to chance.

That changed in 2006, when a start-up company in Lincoln, NE called Hudl began putting the power into the hands of the student-athletes. Suddenly, high school athletes who created a Hudl profile could upload game footage and share their highlights directly with coaches, recruiters and colleges. As Hudl rose in popularity throughout the 2010s, millions of athletes and teams began using the tool.

Like Myles Wheatley, a 2020 graduate of Papillion-La Vista High School and part of the Class of 2024 at Doane. 

A path to the playing field

Myles Wheatley runs on the indoor track
Myles Wheatley (in orange) is a senior business administration major and member of the indoor and outdoor track teams.

Growing up, Wheatley played mostly basketball but decided to go out for football his senior year. He had an impressive season, and his coaches told him he might have a chance to play football in college. So how does a kid from the suburbs of Omaha with one year of football experience connect with college coaches who have been recruiting high school players since they were sixteen? 

“I was putting together clips and stuff, trying to get recruited,” Wheatley said. 

Thanks in part to his Hudl profile, he connected with Doane’s then-head football coach Chris Bessler, and received a scholarship to play football at Doane. As a Tiger, Hudl remained part of his student-athlete experience.

“When I got here at Doane, we had all of our plays and all of our film on Hudl,” he said.

Wheatley moved from the football team to the track team, where he competes as a long jumper and mid-distance runner. As his athletic career shifted, he began making career moves, too. Wheatley declared a business major and began thinking about getting an internship.

Finding support from Doane’s services

Stephanie Hemje and Quint Geis ’13
Stephanie Hemje and Quint Geis

As a junior, Wheatley ran into Stephanie Hemje, Doane’s experiential learning coordinator, outside the Career, Leadership & Service office. 

“Somehow I ended up in Perry, and I ran into her, and we just started chatting. Next thing you know, I’m re-working my resume,” Wheatley said.

Wheatley then took CED 205: Intro to Field Experience with Quint Geis ’13, the director of Career, Leadership & Service. In the class, he built a LinkedIn page and learned how to write a cover letter. He also learned how to search for internships.

“I really liked that class,” Wheatley said.

With his career skills sharpened and application materials ready to go, Wheatley set his sights on the company that opened his path to Doane: Hudl.

The extra mile

He applied twice and was turned down. But as a distance runner, going multiple laps around the track is nothing new to him. And as they say, the third time’s the charm.

“The difference maker was going to see Stephanie at the career center because having my resume now, the resume that she helped me with, it’s like a night and day difference,” Wheatley said.

Just like the work he puts in at the gym to prepare for competitions, Wheatley did a lot of preparation for his interviews. 

“I took a lot of notes and did a lot of journaling, just quizzing myself of questions they might ask me,” he said. “My game plan was to just be myself.”

Wheatley moved through four rounds of interviews for a human resources internship position at Hudl. And his hard work paid off.

“It was really exciting because I saw that a lot of other people applied to it as well,” he said. 

An impactful experience

Wheatley began his summer internship in May 2023. During an orientation program, he and other interns met and heard from Hudl’s CEO, David Graff. 

That moment stuck with Wheatley.

“It’s not a vertical structure. If you need to speak with someone or you need help with something, you can find that person,” he said. 

At most companies, interns wouldn’t meet the CEO. Wheatley realized Hudl was different.

Wheatley’s day-to-day work involved handling paperwork for new hires, sending employee agreements and filing documents. His internship was with human resources, but his supervisor encouraged him to use this time to contact other employees at Hudl to learn about their jobs.

“I want a little bit deeper-than-surface-level knowledge of what everyone does,” Wheatley said. 

He was interested in learning more about payroll, recruiting, data analytics and employee relations, and sought out opportunities to connect with other Hudl employees in those departments. The summer ran out before he could meet with everyone. 

Fortunately, his internship did not. Hudl offered Wheatley an opportunity to continue working during the school year. 

Now, he balances 19 work hours per week with his academic and athletic commitments. Wheatley said working at Hudl during his senior year helped him establish standards that he will look for in a job after college.

“I know what it’s like to work with great people at a great company,” he said. “I don’t want to go backward from that.”