Harry Radovich has covered a lot of ground in his hockey and professional career. If there is one thing that is for certain, it is that change is constant in every walk of life.
Harry began his college career at Hobart College as a member of the men’s varsity hockey team. The choice to attend Hobart came easy to Harry, as the mix of athletic competition along with the strength of the academics Hobart offered were two aspects that fitted his student-athletic needs.
Beginning as a freshman, Harry knew that he wanted to do something in financial services, however, he wasn’t quite sure which direction to head in within the field. Like many college students Harry’s time in college became exploratory with the idea of setting a solid foundation within a specific field then to build on it when he would begin his professional career. Exploring one’s interests is one of the biggest perks of a person’s time in college. The structure of learning the basics is a good thing, but after having your first job or two is when people can really have a better understanding of what they want to do. “When I got my first job I think I was exposed to more than what I knew from college from a career standpoint so I think that helped frame what I wanted from a career standpoint,” Harry stated.
Harry related narrowing down niche categories within a broad field to his current job experience. “When I was at Hobart I didn't realize and I'm not even sure now if they have a well established computer science program, but I essentially picked up computer science skills along the way in my first couple roles early in my career that led me to becoming a product manager for trading platforms at JP Morgan.” It’s quite clear that learning does not come to an end when college does, it is really just the laying of a foundation to evolve in a professional career.
After college, Harry ventured into the world of professional hockey playing in 3 different minor leagues. Not quite able to give up the game he loved without giving pro a shot, Harry decided to take a year off from starting his professional career to fulfill his dream. Ultimately, Harry ended his pro career playing for the Danbury Whalers of the FHL, leaving with a ton of memories and more valuable real life experience. “After school ended it was challenging to fill that void of a game that you played your whole life and competed in. I knew it was going to have a timeline so I exercised it, but yeah I met some great guys and it was just great exposure to the different levels of hockey. It also sets you apart from others in professional life,” Harry explained. Putting his professional career on hold wasn’t easy, but Harry noted he would have his entire life to work.
Two of the biggest skills Harry picked up while playing professional hockey that he could apply to his later professional career were discipline and teamwork. The ability to compromise with teammates and coaches translates well to working within a structured environment. “Being able to work with different personalities, you’re not necessarily going to be best friends with everyone, or see eye to eye on things, but being able to work through things is important,” Harry said. However, being able to work through problems can’t happen unless you have the discipline to honor your commitments. Showing up to the rink day after day even if you don’t want to is what made Harry a professional athlete. As the saying goes, anything worth doing won’t come easy. Overall playing pro hockey for a year was a beneficial experience for Harry and getting out at the right time was even more so. “I think if you do it for too long it might put you out of the mindset of working. I know with a lot of my friends that didn't have the opportunity to take a year off missed out on a chance to travel and they were antsy and felt like they might have missed something. I was ready to settle down and grind so I think it gives you an appreciation for working and making money,” Harry said.
After Harry’s pro hockey career, he was ready to re-enter the workforce, beginning at GFI Group Inc. A large aspect of getting his first real job stemmed from previous intern experience he accumulated while attending HWS along with a reference from someone within the company. Having a background in tech and finance ultimately turned the interview process into an enjoyable experience for Harry. “For me it was really relatable to my internship experience at TradeWeb so I was able to speak about some of the industry knowledge given they were a direct competitor, which kind of gave me a leg up since you're not coming out of college with a ton of work experience,” Harry said. A terrific tip for students coming out of university is to research the given field they are interested in and gain any and all related experience to leverage themselves into a better position. Another tip Harry gave for future interviewees was to “be humble and admit when you don't know something or ask for clarity. That was something big for me to ask interviewers, to rephrase something because sometimes they will explain it in a way that makes more sense to you and you can answer their question better,” Harry said.
GFI Group Inc. was soon bought out by Cantor Fitzgerald leading Harry to his next transition in his professional career. Many employees left the company when the prospect of being bought out was on the table due to the reputation of high turnover. Harry, however, viewed the buy out as an opportunity to evolve his role into the technology sector. A friend traveling a similar path spoke to Harry about the financial upside of becoming a Business Analyst opposed to some of the other roles within the company. So Harry took the plunge and asked for a promotion, which also afforded him a higher learning curve in the process.
After GFI, Harry took a strategic leap of faith to begin working at Kroll Bond, a rating agency. One of the soft skills Harry picked up in his professional career came in the form of adaptability. “In the workforce you're going to be exposed to opportunities and sometimes have to take a leap of faith. They ended up panning out well and I was able to run with it. For example, I didn’t have a computer science background, but I was able to transfer into our tech department and have a more lucrative career that wasn’t only on the sales side,” Harry stated. The other pro of moving to different companies is that it gives employees the opportunity to leverage other job offers against each other. “You can make a lot of money moving company to company because big companies have very rigid pay structures. You’re in a certain pay bracket and it is very difficult to move outside of those brackets unless you’re there for a long period of time so what people do is leverage a move for more money,” Harry explained.
After repeating this process a few times, Harry has now settled at JP Morgan as a Product Manager. In his role he manages and determines what his team will create from a product standpoint and translates a technological blueprint to the developers on his team, kind of like a general contractor for technology.
Over Harry’s career, he has been able to adapt many soft skills he has obtained through sports to his professional career while picking up a technological background to expand a lucrative professional career. Beginning his career over again Harry stated he would have become a Computer Science major because of the direction companies are moving. Every company has a massive technology component in what they do, no matter the sector, which may have opened more doors earlier in his professional career. If Harry could give one piece of advice to those venturing into the real world from college it would be to understand your endgame. In today’s world workers must be willing to adapt to situations and be flexible in their job search to offer value in many different ways. Nonetheless, students should research their desired field and understand what skills they will need to drive their career forward.
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