Incognito's Harvard Experience Proves Invaluable

Posted Jul 11, 2012

Miami Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito spent part of March in the backyard of the AFC East rival New England Patriots on the Harvard University campus. He left there smarter and better prepared for life after football.

Incognito and defensive end Ryan Baker, along with tight end Anthony Fasano and offensive lineman Ryan Cook were among the 66 participants in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program. It’s a five-day program that took place at the Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Since its inception in 2005 more than 700 players have participated in the program and Incognito, who owns a small event planning business that his parents run, learned from some of the top business professors in the country from March 19-23. He came away feeling empowered with more knowledge and with a thirst for more.
“It was a good experience just learning from those guys because they bring a ton of experience to the table,” Incognito said. “It was just a good all-around experience and it really opened up my eyes to a lot of opportunities outside of the game of football and gave me confidence moving forward with my business.”
The crux of the syllabus was learning how to develop a business idea or plan in areas like investments, real estate and retailing. Fasano and Cook attended the Kellogg workshop from April 1-5 with a focus on the fundamentals of investing and how to create and finance and new ventures.
In order to participate in either workshop players had to complete an application process and the program has grown in popularity. Enrollment criteria includes level of education, professional business experience, interest in starting, owning, or managing a business and leadership and community involvement.
“It was everything I expected and more because they put us in front of some people who had real life experience in what they were talking about,” Incognito said. “For instance, the gentleman who taught us the real estate course handles hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate and what they do is they bring a lot of experience. You really take it all in and there was so much good information and it definitely was more than I expected. I’d recommend that everybody do it because it’s formulated so that everybody can learn and everybody’s interacting.”
Some of Incognito’s former St. Louis Rams teammates joined him and Baker at Harvard and he confirmed that they are talking about attending next year’s program at Stanford University.
“Everyone can really take a lot from it but right now my focus is all football and my heart and soul is in football,” Incognito said. “But I am preparing for the day when all of this ends and I need to transition into the business world.”
Other current Dolphins that have participated in the program are punter Brandon Fields (2009) and long snapper John Denney (2009 and 2010). Former Dolphins linebacker and defensive end Jason Taylor also participated in 2010.
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