JDC Group strives to be a highly productive, quality-oriented, and service-minded team focused on company, community, and professional growth. We share these values with Julian Gressel, a key player for Atlanta United and brand ambassador for JDC Group. JDC Group had the chance to sit down with the Neustadt an der Aisch, Germany native to learn more about his life as a professional soccer player and rising star in Atlanta.
Regardless of the industry, recruiting and finding new opportunities does not come without difficulty. Julian experienced this himself when looking at colleges and enrolling at Providence College.
“It all started through Facebook,” says the 24-year old midfielder. “I got this message from an organization that helps international student athletes connect with colleges in the United States.”
Julian worked with the organization to create a profile detailing his background and accomplishments, as well as a highlight video showcasing his performances on the pitch.
“I actually talked to my coach at Providence after being there for a few years, and he said when he first saw my profile, he watched every second of that highlight video several times, analyzing every aspect of my play.”
Providence College was the perfect fit for Julian. While enrolled, he excelled as a student-athlete both in the classroom and on the field.
“I’ve always been intrigued by the business world,” says Gressel, “My family runs a transportation company in Germany, so I have a good understanding of how management operations work which helped with my studies.”
After attending Providence College for 2 years and being responsible for 10 goals and 9 assists for the Friars, scouts informed Julian that he had potential to make it to MLS. He knew it would be a great opportunity for him but wanted to finish school.
“Thankfully, I graduated in 3 ½ years with a degree in Management,” says Julian, “I knew I had to be prepared for life after soccer.”
Gressel was selected by Atlanta United with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. It didn’t take long for Julian to fall in love with the city of Atlanta.
“There are so many things to do in Atlanta, whether it’s enjoying some tasty food at a local restaurant, taking a walk through the park with our dog, or playing a round at one of the many beautiful golf courses,” Julian said.
Atlanta United’s success as an organization has been surreal. Multiple factors contribute to the organization’s success, including a vision shared from the owner to the president on down. While only being the first season for the team, the fan base has helped take everything to the next level.
“The supporters here are unbelievable,” says the MLS Rookie of the Year. “They’re the heartbeat of the club and have made the journey that much more enjoyable.”
Julian specifically points out how important the use of technology has been in analyzing athletic performance.
“We all wear GPS monitors during matches, and it helps to track things such as the total distance we ran, how fast we ran, and cuts we made,” Gressel says. “After the match, we have a guy who breaks it down with us and compares our performance to MLS standard, which really helps knowing what we need to work on.”
Finding a new opportunity does not come without struggles. As a candidate, it is always important for you to have a detailed and well-developed profile online (CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIn, etc.). Having a college degree can also open doors that might otherwise be closed. To give yourself the best chance, look for a good fit by knowing the organization’s culture and location. Julian offers a few words of advice for anyone struggling to find a new career opportunity.
“Just stay committed and true to what you have decided to pursue,” Julian declares. “In my case, it was becoming a professional soccer player, but it goes for any industry: Good things will happen eventually if you believe they will.”