I am a student of International Management at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and currently in my fourth semester. Since I also have a contract with the Fraport Skyliners as a professional basketball player, I was asked to share my experiences in this blog.
During my year abroad at an American high school I learned that an excellent academic education at high school or university level does not interfere with a professional athletic career. Nevertheless, I wanted to attend university in Germany, where academic and athletic excellence are commonly considered to be mutually exclusive. Therefore, I had to find a taylor-made solution to pursue my studies and continue to play basketball on a professional level.
With the Fraport Skyliners and their general manager Dr. Gunnar Wöbke I luckily found a club that encouraged me to enroll at Frankfurt School and play at the same time on their Bundesliga team. And FS accepted me as a full-time student regardless of my unusual situation. So far, this set-up has proved to be successful in combining the time intensive schedule of a professional basketball player with the equally demanding schedule of a student at FS.
Continuous and open communication with both the club and the university has been a key factor of success. For instance, the Fraport Skyliners are always aware when I write exams and accept that I miss practices and sometimes even games. In addition, as for any student who is working full-time beside his studies, time management, discipline and self- organization are essential.
Obviously, my tight schedule is not always easy to manage, but I am very happy to be able to combine my passion for basketball with an excellent business education. In fact, most of the skills important on the court, such as teamwork, going where it hurts, determination to win and the ability to take the right decision under pressure have already helped me in school. For example, due to the limited time available to prepare my group assignments and exams, I frequently have to put in extra efforts in the form of all-nighters. As in the crunch time of the game, I am calm and focused on the day of the exam no matter how hectic the preparation was, no matter how little sleep I got. Basketball has taught me to be cold-blooded, self- confident and to execute when it counts. I am sure, these experiences will stand me in a good stead in my future career.
Based on my experience combining sports and university studies has not been an obstacle but an opportunity and enrichment.