Italian Rugby Playmaker, Luke Mclean, ‘Crosses the White Line’ and Lands in Investment Banking

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With his rugby career drawing to a close, Italian fullback Luke Mclean turns his sights to a career in Finance. Although born in Australia, Mclean made his Italian debut in 2008, and has since accrued 89 international caps, a figure that puts him 10th on Italy’s all-time list.

Having played professionally for Calvisano, Bennetton Treviso, Sale Sharks & London Irish, rugby, for over a decade, has been at the centre of his time and focus. With the start of his investment banking summer internship shortly approaching that is all about to change. We had a chance to discuss the main lessons he took from sport, his journey with add-victor, and now, as he embarks on this new chapter, is ready to apply a wealth of experience to the challenges ahead.

Luke Mclean running
Luke-McLean sho ha
Luke Mclean close-up

How did you get into Rugby? 

I actually started out playing football however, when I changed schools football was no longer offered therefore I decided I would follow in my older brothers footsteps and started playing rugby.


What’s your favourite aspect of the game? 

I love the fact that rugby is a team sport and you get to experience all the highs and lows with your teammates.


Where’s the most interesting place rugby has taken you? 

I have been very fortunate with rugby to visit a vast array of different countries, and experience many different cultures. However, the most interesting (and eye-opening) for me personally would have to be Argentina, particularly San Juan.


What skills did you realise rugby had given you that perhaps you weren’t aware of whilst playing? 

Dealing with pressure. Whilst playing it never occurred to me how accustomed I had become to the pressures of professional sport and playing in front of large crowds.

What will you miss most about rugby? 

The camaraderie. Specifically, I will miss the dressing room banter and mid- afternoon coffees!


What do you think it is about investment banking that makes you so well equipped for it? 

I have always been interested in finance and I enjoy a challenge. So we will have to see after this summer internship if I have risen to the challenge.


How did you come across add-victor? 

I was put in contact with add-victor through our RPA (Rugby Players Association) representatives, they are fantastic at putting us in front of very useful resources.


What would you say has been the most valuable resource add-victor has provided? 

Having never had a formal interview in my life, I think the interview prep work and advice given by add-victor was by far the most valuable resource they provided.

Mclean keeps his eye on the target
Mclean keeps his eye on the target

What’s your greatest source of inspiration? 

I would have to say my Nonna, Elsa. She is a powerhouse of a woman that for most of her adult life ran a cane farm in Far North Queensland. 


What lessons have you learnt through sport that carries through to other aspects of your life? 

That individual success is irrelevant if your team as a whole fails. It’s a lesson I hope to instil in my sons.  

At what point did you know finance was an industry you could see yourself in? 

I had already finished my degree in Finance and Economics when I moved to London, but I’d still never been into a financial institution and was a little bit concerned that I had wasted years studying something that I may never use. However, the first time I went into a Bank, visiting a company called Sanlam, I realised that I was definitely following the correct career path for me. 

What do you think your maturity offers that perhaps might be lacking in recent graduates? 

I think it would have to be real life experience. I have travelled and lived around the world with rugby, facing the obstacles that comes with being a professional sportsman and being far from one’s comfort zone. I am a father and that has also taught me a great deal, from patience to perseverance.
















What are you most looking forward to with your upcoming internship? 

Learning as much as I possibly can. Obviously text books only get you so far, so it will be good to finally put some of the theory to good use.


What advice would you give an athlete who is looking to build a career in finance/investment banking? 

Hopefully in a few years I will have some excellent advice to give about building a career in finance/investment banking, but for now I would say it’s never TOO early to start thinking about your career after rugby. Study hard and gain as much work experience as physically possible.

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