8 September 2011

Brawn And Brains

Though one takes place in a classroom and the other on a field, elite study and elite sport have a lot more in common than you might imagine.

As someone currently combining a Masters of Commerce degree with a first-grade NRL career, I can definitely say that achieving success in both demands dedication, perseverance, and a very strong work ethic. Both play an extremely important role in my life and I can say without a doubt that both disciplines complement each other really well. From a personal perspective, I think it’s a good idea to have other interests than just footy. Afterall, there’s only so much training you can do in a day. Uni studies continue to be a great escape, with the mental stimulation being a good balance compared to the sheer physicality of rugby league.

I also know that I have to prepare for life post-footy, and thinking about that next stage of life is also important. At this point, the plan is to finish my Masters and maintain my distinction average before doing an MBA abroad. I’d then like to look at launching a corporate career, maybe with one of the big consulting houses, and see where that takes me. At the end of the day, it’s all about having the options that a uni education provides.

That’s why I also founded the Future Direction Network with a group of school friends. It’s basically a mentoring and scholarship program aimed at encouraging kids from South-West Sydney to engage in higher education. People from lower socio-economic areas are significantly under-represented at uni and we decided we really needed to pass on information about the benefits of enrolling in further study. It’s run in partnership with Sydney Uni’s Compass Social Inclusion Project and I think it’s a very important initiative. If we can provide some motivation and inspiration, that’ll be great.

Author: Corey Payne – Master of Commerce student and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs second-rower

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