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balancing_lifeLike many young student-athletes, Albert Rocker dreamed of a successful playing career in the National Football League. Rocker was a second-team all-state, all-region, and all-Metro selection at Sparkman High School before accepting a scholarship to continue his athletic and academic careers at Georgia Tech University.

The 6-foot-1-inch, 231-pound linebacker saw little action as a red shirt freshman, but saw his playing time increase immensely during his sophomore and junior seasons. As Rocker looked toward his senior season, the goal of becoming an NFL player was within his grasp. But, so was something else.

Rocker learned a great deal about adversity and about personal accountability. While keeping up with the demands of college football, Rocker also became an Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honor Roll member. During the summers, the business management major continued his preparation for the Yellow Jackets football team but also served internships to build his business knowledge.

Prior to his senior season, Rocker attended a Georgia Tech career fair in search of yet another summer internship, something that would broaden his horizons. As luck would have it, Rocker ran into a GT alum who works for Microsoft. Rocker’s resume was passed on to recruiters at Microsoft’s headquarters and, while many of the resumes recruiters see are solid, Rocker’s stood out because of his leadership and experience as an athlete.

Being a Georgia Tech football player had taught Rocker time management, leadership skills, and how to function as part of a unit. Juggling about 60 hours per week of work between academics and athletics will teach anyone the valuable skill of how to manage their time. Football helped Rocker learn a lot about teamwork and also how to be a leader. It was these skills that led Rocker to an interesting decision as he entered his final season as a member of the Georgia Tech football program.

Rocker’s internship led to an opportunity to work full-time for one of the world’s most recognized companies. In the end, Rocker decided to go pro…and work for Microsoft. While most college athletes dream to go pro, most, like Rocker, will go pro in something other than sports. And nothing will prepare a student-athlete for a successful future like being, well, a student-athlete.

December 2017
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