My Career Change: Matt Eldred’s Career After Hockey
When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to drive interaction between athletes and their fans, 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 Professional Hockey Player, Matt Eldred. Most know Eldred from his collegiate days at Bowling Green State University, and his professional days in the IHL, AHL and ECHL (British Super League).
What sport did you play?
Bowling Green State University
ECHL (British Super League)
What industry did you change careers to?
How did you get into your new career?
Leveraged my relationships from college and prep school. Being an athlete certainly helped.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making your career change?
I had very little help in navigating life after hockey. At the time the PHPA (professional hockey players association) tried to help players transition out of their playing careers. There was certainly a demand, but there were too few people to properly advise players as to “how to prepare.”
In my second to last year playing, I sought out an internship with a financial services business which helped me meeting individuals in the corporate world. In addition, I invested in a resume service, and applied for jobs in the pharmaceutical business/financial services business to see what value I had. In a nut shell, I was learning through each interaction I had with a prospective employer or through my contacts. I had no clue what I was doing. My goal in each of my interactions was to impress someone enough by my body of work as an athlete to get another interview.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?
Being chosen to build and manage a multi-functional clinical sales team that will grow to become a billion dollar franchise in the next 5 years. In addition, I’ve earned my MBA at Case Western Reserve University as well.
What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?
Network, Network, Network. Also, find a mentor you trust (inside/outside) your potential career interests. Always try to find internships during the offseason (in season if one is able). I have no doubt that this demonstrates a seriousness about developing skills that will be needed after one’s playing career. Look for opportunities to gain more formal education as well. This comes in many different forms, however, dedicating one’s self to actively participate in “learning” is a very good story to tell a prospective employer as well.