Trinity alumni discuss how sport prepared them for life post-grad


Former Trinity athlete Hillary Hoffman now works for the Spurs Sports & Entertainment. photo provided by Hillary Hoffman

For some student athletes, life after sports is a scary thought. After spendings years and years at practices, conditioning workouts, games and team bonding events, it can be difficult to imagine life without it all.

While the time commitment portion of sports might eventually come to a close, the memories made and lessons taught through sports are timeless. Many student athletes have broken records here at Trinity, and then moved on to break records in their respective fields. Some student athletes haven’t moved on from their sport at all, and are still working for teams in the NFL, NBA and more.

Hilary Hoffman, a 2017 graduate, now works for Spurs Sports & Entertainment as a partnership activation associate. While attending Trinity, Hoffman played on the softball team and studied communication and sport management.

“My job is to work with the sponsors and make sure we are fulfilling their contracts, whether they have player or mascot appearances, on-court promotions, in-arena LEDs and more,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said that the team aspect of softball has helped her in her work with the Spurs.

“Being on a team at a collegiate level has helped me with the interactions I have with others in my company. It helps me understand that we all have the same goal in mind,” Hoffman said.

“I am able to prioritize my tasks and projects and I know how to be efficient while doing the best job possible,” Hoffman said.

Another 2017 graduate, Liza Southwick, works as a research coordinator for Spurs Sports & Entertainment. Her position focuses on doing fan and market research through surveys and presentations, then analyzing the data and presenting it to other members of the organization. Southwick played tennis at Trinity and studied business analytics and sport management.

“Playing tennis at Trinity has taught me so much about myself and my capabilities. I learned how I act under pressure, how I react when I win or when I lose and how to put others before myself,” Southwick said.

“Knowing these things about myself has helped me succeed here, and knowing what motivates me has helped me learn how I can be a valuable asset to this amazing organization,” Southwick said.

Southwick names another skill that she learned in athletics and has transferred over into her workplace: time management, which helps her prioritize, plan ahead and work diligently on a daily basis.

“Trying to balance your classes, practice and outside activities can be exhausting. … Most of that is the same here. I have been tasked with handling many different projects at the same time, but it is my responsibility to complete them within the expected time frame,” Southwick said.

Chaz Davis, a 2016 graduate who played football at Trinity, now works as a strategic sourcing analyst for iHeartMEDIA, Inc.

“In a nutshell, I leverage enterprise resources to uncover operational inefficiencies, drive savings initiatives and aim to maximize best-in-class business practices,” Davis said.

Davis also creates templates and presentations that are used to track savings, which are then shared among stakeholders within the business.

Like Southwick, Davis believes being an athlete helped him learn how to manage his time more efficiently.

“I feel I had a bit of a leg up starting my career in terms of time management. As a college athlete, time is precious. … As an analyst, that statement holds true,” Davis said.

Football also taught him how to manage difficult circumstances, which he finds extremely useful in the world of business.

“The course of business tends to throw unanticipated circumstances that force you to be open and transparent in your deliverance to those it may affect,” Davis said.

As for advice to this year’s graduates, all of the athletes had something different to say.

“Don’t lose the drive that you had on the field or the court or in the pool. … Transfer it into the office. Also, find a job that you love “” it makes coming into work every day a joy,” Hoffman said.

Southwick emphasizes the importance of setting goals. Leading up to her senior year, she had surgery on her foot. With the help of a mentor, she set goals for herself and didn’t stop working until she achieved them.

“If you want to get anywhere, you have to be disciplined and set timely, concrete goals,” Southwick said.

Davis wants all students, not just student athletes, to understand that Trinity prepares students for success.

“Know that the style of Trinity’s liberal arts education has trained your mind to think critically and challenge, with reason, things that may seem overlooked,” Davis said. “If you can withstand academics and athletics, I have full faith that you’ll thrive wherever you land.”