This past summer I was able to obtain a position with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company; a global leader in both the consulting industry and the business world in general. My experience with McKinsey was fantastic – I was challenged in many ways, but also learned a great deal because it is a tremendous firm.
As I worked for McKinsey I couldn’t help but notice many similarities to my experience as a Princeton student-athlete. I was pushed and challenged, and often required to perform in stressful situations. I worked with a team, and had to take responsibility for my individual performance as well as its effect upon the entire team’s performance. I had to bring the right attitude to work every day, and it was necessary to act in a professional manner at all times. During the experience, I continually found myself drawing upon lessons I learned as a Princeton student-athlete; whether they were the many lessons I learned through actual competition on the ice, lessons about personal conduct and management I learned from Coach Gadowsky, or the implicit lessons I learned through interacting with alumni and supporters over the years. While by no means have I mastered the endless content found in those lessons, I could easily see how relevant they were to the business world.
When I was at Princeton, I often heard Coach Gadowsky and various distinguished alumni speak about how Princeton Athletics prepares students for life. I am too young and have seen too little to be able to make such statements with the same level of authority. And while I always believed such statements, they often seemed abstract or theoretical – the kinds of statements that coaches or Princeton Athletics alumni are required to make. My experience this summer, however, helped to drive such statements home in a very tangible way. It allowed me the opportunity to once again realize the value of my experience as a Princeton student-athlete.