Making it easier for competitive athletes in Berlin to start their careers

The path from a sporting to a professional career is often very rocky for top athletes. In application procedures, there is often a lack of understanding for the particularities of their CVs. With "Startblock", the VBKI, together with partners from business and sport, wants to raise awareness of the problem - and make it easier for top athletes to start their careers with specific offers.

Hardly any other group of people has internalized the performance principle to such an extent: top athletes have qualities that companies are looking for: Ambition, the ability to work under pressure, good discipline and the willingness to regularly push themselves to the limit. Nevertheless, the transition from a sporting to a professional career is often difficult: when personnel managers judge by the files, candidates fall through the cracks - due to their particular CVs, they do not meet the relevant criteria.

Against this background, the VBKI, together with the companies KPMG, Egon Zehnder and H/P Hoffmann & Partner as well as the Olympic Training Center Berlin (OSP), has launched the program "Startblock - The Berlin Program for Careers after Competitive Sports". With "Startblock", the program partners are pursuing a dual objective: on the one hand, they want to make the transition from an athletic to a professional career easier for athletes. On the other hand, they want to sensitize potential employers to the special features of competitive athletes' CVs - and thus make it easier for athletes to enter professional life in the long term.

The program

The Startblock program takes a comprehensive approach: the program partners arrange contacts in the professional world, provide participants with coaches from well-known companies, offer further training opportunities and arrange internships, work shadowing and direct entry into the profession. The initiators of the project decide on inclusion in the program based on proposals from the OSP. All services are provided by the partners on a voluntary basis. The costs of the program are borne by the partners, allowing the selected athletes to participate without any financial outlay. Berlin squad athletes from 23 DOSB priority sports thus receive a regional offer at their training location, which meets the high demands of the parallelism of sporting career and professional development in a special way.

The Startblock program consists of four modules. They can be completed in full or in parts, depending on the needs of the program participants.


Previous program participants include the following athletes:


  • Monique Angermüller
  • Nathalie Augsburg
  • Robert Dumke
  • Lena Jacobi
  • Nina Kamenik
  • Katrin Mattscherodt
  • Carsten Schlangen
  • Samuel Schwarz

The Startblock program consists of four modules. They can be completed in full or in parts, depending on the needs of the program participants.

Kick-off workshop | The aim of the workshop is to help program participants identify their strengths and weaknesses and thus facilitate their professional orientation.

Coaching | Each program participant is assigned a mentor from the management of the participating partner companies. Regular personal coaching sessions are used to pass on experiences, identify professional points of contact and open up perspectives. The mentors are required to open up their usually strong professional network to their mentee.

VBKI seminar program |Program participants have the opportunity to take part in the VBKI seminar program free of charge and thus expand their specialist knowledge and skills.

Internships/ work shadowing | The fourth module of the program is designed to enable participants to gain practical work experience. Ideally, these internships and/or work shadowing placements pave the way for a career start and permanent employment thanks to the previous stages of the program.

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