64 Teams. 1 Winner. Ladies and gentlemen, March Madness has arrived!

At Protiviti, I like to say that we’re no stranger to having champions amongst us… No, seriously! Everyone here at Protiviti is a champion. A culture champion. A client relationship champion. A champion of our women’s initiative. A champion in their area of expertise. A recruiting champion. You name it and we have a champion here to prove it!  Just ask Teddy, who is a particularly relevant champion for today, having won last year’s March Madness tournament here at Protiviti.

As a former (and very washed up) collegiate lacrosse player, I can say with 100% certainty that the lessons I learned playing a sport have helped to shape me in to who I am today. With the NCAA tournament tip-off quickly approaching, I decided to reach out to some of our employees who competed collegiately in basketball to hear about their experiences as student-athletes and to get their take on how the sport has translated positively to their careers.

Meet Melissa

Melissa is an Experienced Consultant in Internal Audit & Financial Advisory in our San Francisco office.




Played at: I played at Washington University in St. Louis and then continued on to play one year of professional basketball in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Biggest Accomplishment during Athletic Career: Each season of basketball came with its own special memories. If I had to pick just one favorite moment, it would be the final accomplishment of my career: winning the national title in Denmark in the Game 7 of a 7-game series.  It was my club’s first championship in 36 years and to be able to end my basketball career on such a high note was absolutely unforgettable!

What has the sport taught you? How has this lesson translated to your career at Protiviti? One incredibly valuable lesson I learned from sports is how to embrace challenges. Basketball showed me that working through challenging times is all a part of growth – you face challenges when turning weaknesses into strengths, making current strengths stronger, and in the unexpected moments of adversity. My coaches impressed upon me the importance of a good attitude through those difficult moments. In my current role professionally, I try to keep this in mind and think of every challenge as an opportunity for growth.

Who is your 2018 Men’s NCAA Champion pick? Women’s? For the Men’s tournament, my heart wants Gonzaga but my mind says Villanova! As for the Women’s tournament, I have to go with UConn – it’s hard to beat Geno!

Meet Ryan

Ryan is a Risk & Compliance Manager in our Los Angeles office.


Played at: Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. Go Mustangs!!

Biggest Accomplishment during Athletic Career:  I would have to say the first time I ever had an in-game dunk, which was against UC Davis. Coincidentally this was also the first double-double I ever had in a college game!!

What has the sport taught you? How has this lesson translated to your career at Protiviti? Don’t make excuses. In basketball, this lesson is applied to the success of the team as a whole, because when it comes down to it, all that matters is the final score of the game. You can always blame the refs for making bad calls, blame the coach for not playing you more, blame your teammates for blowing the game or taking a bad shot, but when it comes down to it we are a team and everything we do is as one – making excuses for failure doesn’t change the score. Not only do I apply this to my professional life at Protiviti but also, more broadly, to life in general.  Don’t make excuses for why you didn’t get what you wanted out of life! You make the rules, you have the ability to chase your dreams and you are responsible for the happiness in your life. Making excuses ultimately only hurts yourself. We must have the courage and strength to find a way and that sometimes means going outside of our comfort zones to follow our hearts at all costs!

Who is your 2018 Men’s NCAA Champion pick? I have to go with Virginia. I always root for them since I had friends that went there. This year, they are stacked with the best defense in the country and they have an amazing coach!

Meet Heidi

Heidi is a Senior Manager in Recruiting and works in our Charlotte office.

Heidi is a Senior Manager on our Operations Team – Experienced Recruiting

Played at: Illinois Wesleyan University (Go Titans!)

Biggest Accomplishment during Athletic Career: I was selected team captain as a sophomore which was very humbling and rewarding.  I played point guard so my role was reading the defense, calling plays and finding the open player.  It meant a lot to me that my teammates recognized me as a leader.

What has the sport taught you? How has that translated to your current career? All collegiate athletes will take away many lessons that translate to the working world.  I learned about leadership, discipline, effect time management, and teamwork.

Who is your 2018 Men’s NCAA Champion pick? Women’s? I’m a Big Ten girl but have to go with Duke! As for the Women’s Tournament, it’s hard to go against UConn but I’m going to go with Notre Dame.

Meet Da’Veed

Da’Veed is a Manager in Technology Consulting in our Chicago office.

Da'Veed Dildy 1

Played at: Stanford University

Biggest Accomplishment during Athletic Career: My first year in college, we made it to the 2007 NCAA tournament and actually kicked off the first game against Louisville.  The site was at the historic Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY!

What has the sport taught you? Don’t think, just do.  Throughout my time as a player, I learned the focus should be on working as hard as I could and trying not worrying about the outcome.  The idea was that the end-results will take care of themselves.

How has this lesson translated to your career at Protiviti? In consulting, whenever I face a new challenge or a tough situation, I worry less about the potential outcome and focus more on putting as much hard work into the problem/project work as possible. In my experience, the results have always turned out favorable if effort and hard work were put forth. Hard work pays off!

Who is your 2018 Men’s NCAA Champion pick? I haven’t been able to catch many games throughout the season but I did catch a glimpse of the Duke Blue Devils and was thoroughly impressed by the talented freshmen. So, I’m taking Duke as my pick to cut down the nets this year.

Meet Taylor

Taylor is an Internal Audit & Financial Advisory Experienced Consultant. He sits in our Philadelphia office.


Played at: Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD

Biggest Accomplishment during Athletic Career: My biggest accomplishment during my career was winning our conference tournament in 2014 and going to the NCAA tournament.

What has the sport taught you? How has this translated to your professional career? I’ve learned a lot from basketball and it’s hard to pick one lesson that sticks out more than the rest! Even though its cliché, I would say learning how to win, but also learning how to handle losing — that is something that has easily translated to my career. Working effectively with others and knowing/embracing your role within your team is also something that I use every day at work. On project work, I  pay close attention to any mistakes that may be made and work to understand what we can do to fix the mistake the next time around.

Who is your 2018 Men’s NCAA Champion pick? When it comes to picking the NCAA tourney champ, Joe Lunardi has as good a chance of picking the winner as my younger sister who doesn’t follow the sport! But, I’ll take a guess and go with Michigan. They play great defense, they don’t turn the ball over, they have upperclassmen leadership and are back-to-back Big 10 champs so they have experience winning.

As tip-off approaches, we hope that you found the insights from our former collegiate basketball players to be helpful and timely! We have a number of student-athletes at Protiviti and we’re always excited to hear about how experiences “on-the-field” impacted their careers.


Interested in joining our league of champions? Check out our job opportunities here.



Leave a Reply