My Career Change: Chase Beeler’s Journey From Football To Finance
When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that said athlete’s career in another field is often just the beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to not only drive interaction between athletes and their fans, but also provide other athletes with inspiration on their own career transition, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”
In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed former NFL offensive lineman Chase Beeler.
Beeler, an Oklahoma-native, started his collegiate career at his home-state school – the University of Oklahoma – before transferring to Stanford University. He not only completed his college football career as a Cardinal, but also earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. A former center on the offensive line, he was regarded as one of the smartest individuals a former Oklahoma teammate had been around. Now in his second career, Beeler is establishing himself in the financial sector. Learn more below:
What sport did you play?
What teams did you play for?
University of Oklahoma
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
What industry did you change careers to?
Finance (private equity)
How did you get into your new career?
I was looking for internships that would allow me to move toward management consulting and was fortunate enough to develop a relationship with my current firm – a private equity firm with a consulting-type approach to investing – which provided me an opportunity to intern during the hiring off-season as I prepared for consulting interviews. In the intervening four months or so, I developed a passion for the work and was asked by the firm if I’d have an interest in staying on full time.
My athletic experience played an integral role in finding this position, not only because athletics introduced me to the principals at the firm, but because many of the skillsets cultivated by athletics (teamwork, dedication, practice, etc.) had tremendous applicability within the working world, as well. In particular, given that our firm places much importance eon the ability to work in a team setting, I found my experiences as an offensive lineman to be especially helpful in making the transition.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making your transition?
Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge that I faced was taking an entry-level position at a “non-traditional” age, which meant that I was working with (and in some instances, for) folks that were younger than me. Ironically, however, I think that my competitive experience in athletics helped me to confront and address this challenge, since well-run and competitive sports teams operate as a meritocracy in which age and past experience (veteran vs. rookie, senior vs. freshman) are not the sole (or even primary) factor when determining who belongs on the field.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?
At my current firm I’ve been fortunate enough to work across several teams with a number of very talented people, all of whom were willing to bring me up the experience curve in “live deal” situations. As a result, I’ve gotten the opportunity to “close” multiple deals, which means having the opportunity to participate in the process of evaluating, acquiring, improving, and (ultimately) selling a business – all in the name of generating a good outcome for all of the involved stakeholders, including our investors, as well as the company’s management, employees and customers.
What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?
There are a number of skills that you acquire as an athlete (especially when playing a team-oriented sport, like football, that requires tremendous coordination and cooperation), all of which provide a unique competitive advantage when making the transition. Make sure to leverage those skills and, just as important, to communicate those skills to potential employers. I’d also advise folks that they can’t overestimate the importance of interpersonal (“team”) dynamics at their first job post-athletics. As I mentioned above, former athletes frequently confront a number of exceptional challenges when transitioning (e.g., off-cycle start date, age discrepancy among other entry-level hires, baseline technical skillset deficiencies, etc.), so finding an organization with people who understand those challenges and are willing to mentor through those challenges is crucial. Luckily, part of what you acquire as an athlete is the ability to learn on the fly, to accept coaching and to self-teach.
How can other athletes learn more about your business or your career change?