NEW YORK—In December, Columbia Athletics announced the launch of a new branding campaign #OnlyHere, which focuses on the assortment of advantages to the Columbia student-athlete with emphasis on its extraordinary location in New York City, unparalleled academic and career opportunities, an elite-level athletic performance program, and a “built to win” foundation in facilities and personnel. In the fourth of a five-part series, we focus on the third brand pillar of Columbia Athletics which is its unparalleled academic and career opportunities.

Columbia Athletics offers academic and career opportunities that cannot be duplicated at any other university in the nation. Consider the advantages of attending Columbia as a student-athlete:

Columbia Athletics: A National Leader in Student-Athlete Career Development

#OnlyHere at Columbia will student-athletes have the benefit of a specialized and best-in-class career development program, implemented by the Office of Enrichment Services. The program is designed to help each student-athlete reach their highest levels of achievement both here at Columbia and for the rest of their lives. Each year, Enrichment Services conducts over 400 individual student-athlete-specific career counseling sessions and academic support sessions, sponsors several Industry Nights, in which multiple companies come to campus in order to interact with student-athletes, and hosts a series of events focusing on career education and professional etiquette. Each student-athlete has the benefit of a structured Four-Year Action Plan, created in collaboration with the University's career centers, to serve as a resource and guide for their individual career journey. In addition to the counseling sessions and programming, Enrichment Services also focuses on providing career opportunities for Columbia student-athletes and working with alumni and employers to identify and communicate over 70 full-time and internship positions each semester. Consider these career related statistics from the Columbia Athletics Class of 2016:

· 98 percent of the Columbia Athletics Class of 2016 either secured full-time employment or post-graduate plans related to their interest within six months of graduation (this statistic does not include the 3 members of the class who did not report).

· The Class of 2016's current employers include the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Columbia University Medical Center, United States Secret Service, Boston Children's Hospital, Creative Artists Agency, American Express, Crossix Solutions, Goldman Sachs, Oliver Wyman, Peace Corps, IBM Watson, J.P. Morgan, Vice Media, Unilever, Amazon, Deloitte, MKTG, NBC, and many more.

· The Class of 2016's featured graduate schools include Oxford University, University of Cambridge, Duke's Fuqua School of Business and Georgetown Medical School, among others.

Columbia University: A World Leader in Career Opportunities

#OnlyHere at Columbia will student-athletes attend one of the world's leading universities, compete for Ivy League titles and NCAA Championships, and experience all that New York City has to offer from a career and cultural perspective. What separates Columbia from other Ivy League institutions is the unique student experience that it provides based on its location in the “city that never sleeps.” The opportunities for student-athletes attending an Ivy League institution in the middle of New York City are endless; because of Columbia's location, cultural and employment opportunities, and the unique experience that the University provides, Columbia students are better prepared for employment and the job market. Consider these statistics:

· Thousands of internships are offered each year through the Columbia University Center for Career Education and Barnard Career Development.

· 88.4 percent of total 2016 Columbia University graduates are either employed or are in graduate school with a median starting salary of $65K (not including Barnard College graduates).

· 27,510 jobs and internships were posted on the Columbia Center for Career Education and Barnard Career Development job databases last year, many of them in the New York City area.

· Over 5,000 total on-campus interviews were conducted between students and employers last year.

· Over 410 events, programs and workshops were sponsored by Columbia's Center for Career Education and Barnard Career Development last year, while more than 110 employers hosted presentations on campus.

· 93.5 percent of Columbia University undergraduate degree earners served at least one internship during their time at Columbia (not including Barnard College undergraduates).

For more career-related statistics on Columbia career and employment information, check this site.

A Standout Ivy League University at the Center of It All

#OnlyHere at Columbia will a student-athlete have the privilege of attending an Ivy League school in New York City. Because of the University's proximity, location, and built-in advantages, Columbia student-athletes have the opportunity to explore their interests, access some of the top companies and industry leaders in the world, and gain professional experience year-round.

More Career Opportunities in New York City Than Any Other Place in America

#OnlyHere in New York City do student-athletes have unmatched career and networking access at their fingertips. A global international power, New York City exerts significant impact world-wide upon commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, culture, and entertainment. New York City is home to more Fortune 500 companies that any other state in the United States. Anchored by Wall Street in Manhattan's Financial District, New York City has been labeled the financial center of the world, and virtually every major international company has a presence here. The city is also home to the two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. New York is also an important center for major service industries of insurance, health care, government, accounting, law, and media/publishing. Columbia University is a 20-minute subway ride to some of the world's most distinguishable companies such as J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Express, MasterCard, TimeWarner, Cablevision, Viacom, CBS, 21st Century Fox, and Verizon, along with major league headquarters of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.

Unrivaled Alumni Connections

#OnlyHere at Columbia, student-athletes will find nearly 110,000 engaged alumni right in their backyard, willing to assist with professional opportunities and mentorship. A student-athlete can tap into a vast network of more than 320,000 alumni world-wide, many of whom are experts in their chosen field and living, working, and experiencing success in the greater New York City area.

Unrivaled Columbia Connections

#OnlyHere at Columbia will a student-athlete have the opportunity to experience the incredible intellect and expertise found within members of the Columbia community and its world-renowned faculty. More Nobel Laureates have graduated from or taught at Columbia than any other university in the Ivy League, with 82 Nobel Prize winners serving as Columbia alumni, faculty, or former faculty. The University's speaker series is second to none, as notable speakers who have recently connected with students include Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates.

An Academic Advantage: The Core Curriculum

Columbia University's unique Core Curriculum is the nation's oldest and most renowned Core program—and it defines the University's graduates. The Core Curriculum inspires independent thinkers, connects past and present students, and mentors and prepares undergraduates for any career. Ask any Columbia graduate about the value of their education and the Core is the first thing they will mention. The Core allows each student to try out a variety of different courses in order to help them find out what course of study to pursue.

The #OnlyHere branding campaign centers around two principles of Columbia Athletics: its vision statement of a “unique student-athlete experience combined with the most supportive Athletics Department in the Ivy League” and the department's overall mission: “to maximize the opportunities for our student-athletes to reach their highest levels of achievement, here at Columbia and for the rest of their lives.” As part of this initiative, Columbia Athletics has launched a newly designed website www.gocolumbialions.com, new signage in its athletics facilities, refreshed athletics wordmark and the introduction of its new social media hashtag #OnlyHere.

#OnlyHere refers to four brand pillars exclusive to Columbia Athletics' success: Extraordinary location in New York City; Unparalleled academic and career opportunities; Elite level athletic, academic and career performance program; Built to win foundation in facilities.