Tied Between Different Opportunities - Sports, Consulting, Finance

Hi all,

I'm in an interesting predicament. I am currently deciding between a couple offers and am from a target school (H/Y/P/W/S) as a senior:

  • Football Operations for an NFL Team (basically running analytics for player performance and help make drafting decisions, sports science analytics)
  • Bulge Bracket IB (tier 2)
  • Consulting (tier 2)

I keep thinking about optionality - obviously consulting and IBD are considered "safe routes", but I guess working in football has been my dream since I was a kid. Like, the opportunity is something I've always dreamt about and have worked towards. How would you guys consider the three of these opportunities if you had a choice? I'd also like the option of going to M7 B-School down the road, so while I'm leaning towards football right now, I'll have a hard decision to make if working in football operations is frowned down upon by adcomms.

Any perspective would be great, thanks!

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Comments (27)

Oct 17, 2017

Why on earth would you turn down your dream job in order to impress a faceless gatekeeper years into the future?

Take the NFL job. And if it happens to be with the Seahawks, make sure they do a better job with the O-line please, and thank you.

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Oct 17, 2017

As a 12th man myself, I agree.

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Oct 17, 2017

consulting/IB is great for ppl who want to keep optionality/dont know what they want to do yet fully

you've got your dream job infront of you man! go for it

worst case with a prestigious undergrad you can prob gmat your way into an m7 and go back to the consulting suck shop later, but for now- follow that dream and win the steelers some superbowls please

if you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful

Oct 17, 2017

Go with the NFL team position for sure. Yes consulting and banking are the safer path, but you'll always have opportunities to get back into those, plus you're turning town Tier 2 offers. It would be different if you had a MF PE analyst offer or something like that.

I had a buddy who worked for an NFL team doing a similar type of function and he's having a great time.

Oct 17, 2017

It will be easier going to a top business school from the NFL job than banking or consulting. You will stand out and have an interesting story instead of competing for spots against the people from Goldman or McKinsey.

FWIW, I have a good friend who went to one of the schools you listed for undergrad, worked as a scout for an MLB team for a few years, and ended up at H/S/W for business school. No other work experience.

Plus, like what everyone else said, this is your dream job!

    • 1
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Best Response
Oct 17, 2017

Also, if you decide to leave the NFL for some reason for a "normal" corporate job, every single interviewer you have will be dying to talk to you about your time there. You will be "that guy from the NFL" when they talk about candidates post interview. Having a "hook" like that is a very good thing.

    • 12
Oct 17, 2017

Take the Banking or Consulting one. I applied, most likely, to the same position you received an offer for.... xD aint trying to look at structured assets my entire life as a fellow in my 20's

    • 9
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We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

Oct 17, 2017

The first one and don't look back. That sounds like a unicorn job.

The other 2 gigs aren't going anywhere

Oct 17, 2017

NFL 100%

Signed, someone who has done consulting and BB IB.

Oct 17, 2017

Assuming comp isn't a concern, then go for your dream job. You'll enjoy it more, and you'll probably be a stronger B-school applicant from an untraditional path. I actually know a girl at a top MBA program who worked for an NFL team and she absolutely loved and it and said all her interview questions were about her time there.

Oct 17, 2017

go work for the NFl

Oct 17, 2017

Is it top tier NFL though? If we're talking about a job with the Browns...

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Oct 17, 2017

Zing!

Oct 17, 2017

Follow your dream, buddy!

Oct 17, 2017

i tend to agree with the others on the NFL job but if comp is very important to you, you will make significantly less in sports than in finance/consulting. A friend of mine left a trading job paying 150K a year to work for an MLB team and started at 30K

Oct 17, 2017

Personally, Id get the BB experience on my resume then see if I can pivot. But the choice is yours, is there a possibility you could do banking, save up your bonus then make sports a career?

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Oct 17, 2017

I'm certainly thinking about it. The issue I'm running into though - I asked a mentor of mine how someone in the industry would view my resume if I did BB first and he / she said it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but it would be harder for me to sell why I want to work in sports / media down the line.

Oct 17, 2017

I've also kind of come to the realization that money doesn't matter THAT much to me right now, as odd as that might sound...since analytics is a burgeoning field in football (as opposed to baseball where it's been around forever, e.g. since early 21st century) there's a huge opportunity for people to advance quickly granted they are good at their jobs. I'll probably never make MD money in football, but I'm really just trying to go for roles that will allow me to learn as much as possible and let me take as much leadership as possible in an industry I care about.

A lot of alums from my school did IBD before moving to corpdev/ strategy at sports and media organizations, which is really why I'm still considering banking. But I feel this particular opportunity, which is more football / GM track than anything else, is so different from typical strategy / corpdev that the path forward seems less certain.

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Oct 17, 2017

Didn't see your second post in time. Now...I think the choice then is clear, that NFL role seems to be the path forward for you, over banking.

Oct 17, 2017

Definitely agree. My 2 cents might be the marginal increase in difficulty on "why sports/media" is definitely worth the 50K+ in your bank account(perhaps more). I'd keep those contacts close and bet that the drive that got you the NFL job offer the first time will present itself again when the time is right, and push you to victory. I'm a guy who bets on myself every fucking time (especially if im the underdog) and would take the risk.

Regardless, OP I defer to you and respect your choice.

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Oct 17, 2017

Thanks for your honest advice man.

Oct 18, 2017

Doug Pederson recently cited his analytics guy as the reason he went for a 4th and 8 at the end of the first half giving the giants ample opportunity to score before halftime. Do not be that analytics guy. Punt on 4th and 8. Go Birds!

Oct 18, 2017

Interested in sports ops as well. Just curious -- How did you get your offer with Football Ops? Any details regarding pay, hours, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Array

Oct 19, 2017

@JohnDoe251192 I sent you a PM. I think I'm uniquely qualified to comment on your situation, but would rather chat over PM.

I think when a dream job avails itself to you, you take it. Your job satisfaction will undoubtably be higher than if you work in IB or consulting.

I think adcoms will actually view it as a positive if you go the b-school route. Your experience will be very different from most applicants and that makes for a much more well rounded class.

If for some reason football doesn't work out, you can much more easily pivot to IB or consulting. If you take IB or consulting first, there's no guarantee a sports door will ever open again. As you know, these types of roles are very hard to come by, and when a team does hire, they hire one person and not an entire class.

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Oct 20, 2017

Dream job.

Life's too short to hate what you do, which you almost certainly will if you've gotten the other offers without feeling too jazzed about them.

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Feb 20, 2018
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Feb 20, 2018