In the last Recruiters with Talents, we mentioned that there was a soccer player in the recruitment team. This soccer player is Eden Hingwing. Eden has played for the Canada National Team, British Columbia Provincial Team, and the Women’s Vancouver Whitecaps. She applies the work ethic and drive she learned from a young age in soccer, to her day-to-day work as a recruiter at IT/IQ. This work ethic has proven effective in both soccer, and recruitment.
Learn more about her experience in professional soccer throughout the interview with her below.
Alright, so when did you first start playing soccer?
Eden: I think I was about three or four. I had two older sisters that played so I got started young.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to go somewhere with it?
Eden: I played in my first tournament in Europe when I was 13, and started playing for the U14 provincial team. And from there, I played for the BC team every year until I graduated high school. I started playing for the national team, I think I was at my first camp when I was in U14 Canada youth camp, so I was really young when it got serious.
And then, did you just go that way because of scouts seeing you, or did you have to try out for teams?
Eden: With the provincial team you do have to tryout, but for the national teams they basically go to major tournaments in the country and then identify girls that they bring into the team. To be honest, I was really, really, athletic, but I was never the biggest soccer fan on the team. I was just a workhorse and very fit.
And you got through post-secondary schooling with it? You got a full-ride scholarship?
Eden: Yup, so I ended up in Omaha, Nebraska in a private Jesuit University, and I got a full-ride which was awesome. And I got to experience true American culture, joined a sorority; I really tried to immerse myself in American culture which was really fun. I was there when Obama first got elected; there was a lot that was really cool about that experience, but it was also Nebraska so… It was fun to be at for four years and as soon as I could, I left.
If you can think of one, what was your best memory from playing soccer?
Eden: So, I’m half Chinese and half Canadian, and I remember when I was on the National team and we played against team China and it just felt like a pivotal moment that my dad could be watching and be so proud. I remember we won the National Championship, at Canada Games. It’s like a mini-Olympics in Canada where all the sports get together for two weeks and all the provinces compete. And for BC we won the championship, which was a big deal.
That’s awesome. You played defense?
Eden: Yeah, I was a centre-back, which fit my personality well because you just have to be bossy and strategic, but you stay in the back the whole time looking around.
Are you still involved with soccer at all still? Do you do anything soccer-related?
Eden: No, so I broke my back. I had fractures in my spine in my last year of college and had my spine fused when I was 22 and that was it for me. I can’t do contact sports, I can run on trails and not cement so I’m very removed in the playing aspect. I tried coaching as soon as I graduated university, and it just wasn’t for me. I’m way too intense; I was coaching 8-year-old’s and screaming at them, and I just realized there are people that are meant to be soccer coaches and they’re really passionate about the game. I was just really athletic and good at it, and I loved the collaborative environment, but I was never the biggest soccer fan. I just liked being an athlete.
As a centre-back, were you captain of the team?
Eden: Yeah, for a lot of the teams I was on. Not always though.
Can you draw any comparisons from playing soccer, to recruitment?
Eden: Big time, When I did a walk-through of our office and was there for the morning stand up, and I said, to I think my boyfriend afterwards, it felt like I was in a locker room again, just the group mentality, everyone’s responsible for their own stuff, but we’re all very much on the same side and the urgency of a role coming out and wanting to make sure that you’re networks informed of it. It brings out a competitive side to me that I’ve missed since I haven’t been able to play sports, it also feels again like you’re working in a team, collaborating and challenging each other to do better, which is what I really like about recruitment.
Whether you’re playing professional soccer or recruiting IT professionals, work ethic can be everything. If you are up for the challenge, check out our available internal opportunities!