I am a 29 year old Italian-American professional basketball player that recently accepted an offer for a position on the FX Desk at a leading global US Bank. I grew up in California using sport as a platform to pursue my scholastic ambitions.
I attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania for my Bachelor’s degree, while also performing as a 4 Year Varsity starter on their NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball team. It was an incredible, yet challenging time in my life. I truly believe the value of elite athletics shapes people in a way that can only be comprehended by those who have gone through that experience.
After my time at UPenn, I had a brief stint in Italy, followed by a very successful 4 year playing career for the Leicester Riders of the British Basketball League (BBL). During my time in Leicester I paired my professional basketball obligations with a Master’s Degree from Loughborough University. After winning 9 trophies over my last 3 years, including captaining the side to back to back trebles, I left the game on a high and decided it was time to begin a career in Finance.
As I begin the transition from a professional athlete to Investment Banking, I wanted to share some of my journey with the next wave of athletes hoping to go pro in something other than sports.
The process of securing a job in the Finance industry is not easy, and I am excited to share my experiences from where I have been to where I am about to go. I hope this blog can be a resource and provide greater insight into what this change of career looks like, if nothing but from my perspective.
The Interview Process
I can still vividly remember my first conversation with Steve White-Cooper from Add-Victor, as he spoke about the opportunities that await in a Finance career and how my history in sport was integral to that. We spoke about how the road to landing a job might not be straight or tidy. However, he consistently advised me to be patient and the right opportunity will happen. And he was right. I interviewed multiple times at several banks, and after each interview I could feel myself becoming better at the interview process.
I was diligent in my preparation, building revision sheets around the role expectations, the role functions, and market information related to the space. As I continued to meet with Banks, my comprehension of the material and my ability to talk about the markets drastically improved, resulting in an increased confidence each and every time. When I met with my eventual employer I was prepared, excited, and certain that I could be the candidate they needed.
The best advice I can provide any athlete looking to enter the Finance industry is to be particularly sharp on 3 things:
- Know the role and its functions within the bank.
- Communicate why your specific skill set is perfect for that role.
- Own the fact that you are an elite athlete, and that your experience, although different than most applicants, is incredibly valuable.
In next week’s instalment Tyler recalls his night-before jitters and evaluates his first week on the floor: the high and lows, what he learnt, what surprised him, and ultimately how his sporting mindset has set him up for the rigours of this transition.