UNC head football coach Mack Brown spoke for all the athletes when he said attending college was a “40-year decision.”
The message resonates particularly with former UNC men’s basketball player Shea Rush.
After his four years at Chapel Hill, where he competed in several NCAA tournaments and the 2017 National Championship team, he worked as a private wealth manager in Chicago at Merrill, a financial management firm, finding the success beyond the basketball court for himself and his clients.
“I think basketball, first and foremost – believe it or not – prepared me the most,” said Rush. “Structure and diligence – daily diligence.”
Rush’s career path comes as no surprise, as he has been interested in investing since college and was also president of his high school investment club.
“I was always following and monitoring the markets and playing with my own money in the market,” he said.
Rush also saw the experiences of his father and two uncles, who all played basketball professionally. When managing their career income, he saw both financial responsibility and mismanagement.
During his sophomore year at UNC, Rush realized that following in their footsteps and pursuing a basketball career was not likely, and he began to focus on using his financial knowledge. to make an impact on athletes like him after graduation.
The UNC has given him great support to prepare him for this next step, he said.
“You’re working out every day at a level that pushes your body to the extreme where you’re like, ‘I’m not sure I can come back the next day,’” Rush said. “I think I can realize how much I’ve been taught mentally.
Rush also acknowledged learning to talk to donors through the basketball program and the things he learned in his business and entrepreneurship classes as stepping stones to his success.
A lesson he learned from Bernard Bell, the executive director of the Shuford Entrepreneurship Program, still holds true today: “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you do. worry. ”
These lessons he learned from UNC still influence the way he does business today.
“It’s absolutely true,” Rush said. “It played in my role because I try to tell people, ‘Hey, I can invest your money, I can manage your money, I can change your family’s bottom line. “”
Now, by applying this mindset to the real world, Rush’s care for his work and his clients is not going unnoticed by his current colleagues.
“We’ve built our practice around working with teammates who work hard, who we can trust and who have a higher level of care for people,” said Kyle Moles, who works with Rush. “And he ticks all of those boxes.”
Rush also impresses in the workplace with his intelligence and contribution to the success of his partnership.
“He’s so young, but he’s wise beyond his years,” said Chris Nield, another Rush colleague. “His ideas about how he markets himself and the team, how he thinks about situations so different from other teammates and other partners – he brings so much energy and a completely different perspective.”
Rush defines what it means to be a Tar Heel beyond graduation – just like the others who made choosing UNC a “40-year decision.”
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