At Protiviti, we like to approach most things with a “game day mentality”. Whether it’s innovating for our clients, executing to meet a deadline, or participating in friendly office rivalry during one of our culture-building events, our champions (our people) guide us with courage and pride. As we head into one of America’s favorite sport weekends, the Super Bowl, we couldn’t help but draw connections between the skills needed for the game we all love, and those that drive success in a professional setting.
We caught up with some of Protiviti’s former collegiate football players to see where they draw connections between their athletic careers and their professional careers — and here’s what they had to say:
Orlando Predators Offensive / Defensive Line (currently playing professionally)
Ithaca College, Defensive Tackle
Protiviti Recruiting Specialist
Discuss the impact sport has had on your professional career. “Football taught me a lot about being a professional. Some of the most important things are always giving 100% at everything you do, being punctual, and the value of being a great teammate. I also think it teaches you integrity – doing the right things when no one is looking. These are things that have translated to the professional world and things I apply daily.”
What is the single most important lesson football has taught you? How has this lesson translated to your professional career? “I would say to fight the low moments and ride the high ones. Football is an emotional roller coaster — similar to how a professional career can feel at times. There are moments when everything is going great and you use that momentum to fuel your day. On days when things feel a little hard and you might want to give up, you just have to fight back a little to push through and get the job done.”
Washington University (St. Louis), Punter, Quarterback
Protiviti Internal Audit Financial Advisory Senior Consultant
Discuss the impact sport has had on your professional career. “Playing sports my whole life, especially team-based sports, has shown me how valuable it is to be a part of something bigger than myself, and to work with others to achieve our goals. That is a large part of the reason I was driven to become a Consultant, especially at Protiviti, where the team environment and culture is so pivotal. The opportunity to work with others and all “win” together has made the projects I’ve had the chance to work on enjoyable.”
What is the single most important lesson football has taught you? How has this lesson translated to your professional career? “Football has taught me that you can’t do everything by yourself — you need the help of others to not only be the best you can be, but also make the team the best they can be. Collaborating to identify the best solution and outcome brings people together, but also makes your response stronger than if you approached it individually. Also, it is equally as important to be someone that makes the team better and motivates others.”
University of Maryland, Long Snapper
Protiviti Risk & Compliance Senior Manager
Discuss the impact sport has had on your professional career. “Collegiate athletics significantly impacted my life and my personal growth, professional and personal development, empathy toward others, and conflict resolution. Being part of something bigger than myself allowed me to identify who I was and my purpose to somehow manifest the gifts I had been given and earned to people I would cross paths with. Consulting is very similar to collegiate athletics, where you have new teammates and personalities to manage and grow with towards a common goal; you have action plans or game plans to deliver sound and actionable intelligence to a prospective client or close a deal and win work; consulting allows you to explore various topics and obtain new skills to add to your tool box with training, networking, and jumping in the deep end and not being afraid to ask for help.”
What is the single most important lesson football has taught you? How has this lesson translated to your professional career? “I cannot drill down to one specific lesson that football taught me, but I will say that taking a chance on yourself with hard work and patience results will follow. Not being afraid of failure was my biggest hurdle when I arrived, as I was surrounded by some of the best athletes in the country and had to prove my worth as a recruited walk-on that I belonged and could produce results and not become a distraction. At the beginning of my junior year (Redshirt Sophomore Year – D1 Athlete Lingo), I earned a full scholarship and started 37 games in a row from there on out. I have failed multiple times in my professional career, learned from my mistakes, and practiced self-reflection, bringing me here to Protiviti. A firm that truly understands the importance of team building, coaching, mentoring, and showing empathy toward others. These are all distinct lessons I learned while competing in collegiate athletics at the University of Maryland, and it took me a while to realize the importance of these lessons. Success is not an accident; success is a choice, and my time playing division 1 football taught me to make a choice to create great habits. Are your habits today on par with your dreams for tomorrow? You should ask yourself every day because whatever you do regularly today will determine where you will be tomorrow.”
Washington University (St. Louis), Linebacker
Protiviti Technology Security & Privacy Consultant
Discuss the impact sport has had on your professional career. “Sports has brought me hundreds of contacts and opportunities and is the reason that I am working at Protiviti today! Working as a part of a team is a skill that is invaluable — and learning to trust others to help you reach success is equally as important. One of the biggest things that I learned from playing college football was workload management; being able to balance sports, schoolwork, and personal activities. Through that, I can get everything done at work while not sacrificing my personal goals and ambitions.”
What is the single most important lesson football has taught you? How has this lesson translated to your professional career? “The biggest lesson sports has taught me is how to fail — and I think that is applicable to my professional career because things don’t always go as planned. Having the understanding that failure is not only a possibility, but a certainty, means that you are always on your toes and ready to adapt in dynamic, creative ways to meet the goals of whatever comes across your path. I find this happens quite often when something happens out of the blue with a client and you have to be agile to solve the problem and get back on track.”
University of Georgia, Tight End
Protiviti Internal Audit Financial Advisory, Associate Director
Discuss the impact sport has had on your professional career. “I believe sports are a great precursor to being on a team in a professional environment. Sports taught me how to face and deal with adversity. In my college/professional sports career, there were physical demands that pushed me to a point of breaking — and times when I saw my teammates getting pushed to their point of breaking. Having experienced that, I feel more prepared in my professional career, to handle the mental hurdles and stressful nuances that come with any role.”
What is the single most important lesson football has taught you? How has this lesson translated to your professional career? “Accept your wins and learn from your losses. Don’t live in your victories so much that you become complacent and don’t dwell in the disappointments that they make you lose sight of your objectives or goals.”
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