Why Succeeding in Sport Can Help Your Business Model

Two Fitzgerald Power interns discover the transferable skills between sport and business. Read more about their insights here.

As Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” This quote perfectly highlights our experiences on the pitch and during our work placement at Fitzgerald Power. There is cross-pollination between the two domains. That said, each fosters a unique leadership approach. Consequently, sports leadership is typically more hands-on and emotional, while business leadership is often strategic and cerebral, according to research. This is something we discovered during a project focused on market research for a new service in Fitzgerald Power – that our collective experiences equipped us with invaluable communication skills, a sense of roles and responsibilities, and the ability to recognise and leverage the strengths of our team members to achieve our goals.


In the fast-paced and dynamic world of sports, effective communication is key to success. Whether it’s coordinating plays or rallying the team during challenging moments, communication is the backbone of any winning strategy. Similarly, at Fitzgerald Power, communication played a crucial role during our market research project. We collaborated as a team, openly sharing ideas and feedback, ensuring everyone’s voice was heard. Drawing on our sports experiences, we found it easier to express our thoughts and actively engage in discussions, leading to more efficient and productive teamwork.


Like any team, Fitzgerald Power thrives on well-defined roles and responsibilities. Our collective backgrounds in sports allowed us to understand the importance of each team member’s position and what was expected from them. This familiarity with defined roles seamlessly transferred to our project at Fitzgerald Power. Each intern took on specific tasks based on their strengths and interests. For instance, one of us mapped the ecosystem, while the other identified venture capital funds and potential distributors for the new service. Aligning our roles enabled us to work cohesively and achieve remarkable results.

Leveraging strengths and weaknesses

Successful sports teams understand the importance of recognising each player’s strengths and weaknesses to optimise performance. Our experiences in sports allowed us to assess the skills and qualities of each other at Fitzgerald Power. By leveraging our strengths and assigning tasks that complemented our abilities, we tried to maximise productivity and efficiency. This approach not only brought out the best in each team member but also brought out a sense of camaraderie and mutual support, just like in our sports teams.

“On your marks, get set, go!”

Our journey from the pitch to the Fitzgerald Power offices has been one of discovery and growth. The teamwork skills we cultivated during our time playing sports have proven to be invaluable in our professional lives. There are both implicit and explicit life skills that you can pick up as a result of sports participation. In tennis, for example, a child learns how to hit, forward-think and serve the ball. Skills derived from this activity include following instructions, determination, perseverance, self-control and critical thinking. Too, a coach may instruct players about how important teamwork is – showing how essential to success relationship building is, while also enhancing social skills like negotiation, empathy and camaraderie. Those skills carry over to business. (For those still not convinced, a partnered global study with Ernest and Young and ESPNW showed that 94% of women executives have a background in sport, and 80% of women Fortune 500 executives played competitive sports.)

As we continue our academic journeys and look ahead to our future careers, we are grateful for the opportunities Fitzgerald Power has given us to develop and apply our teamwork skills. We firmly believe that with the right team, anything is possible, and we are excited to see where this journey will lead us next.

For those considering following in our footsteps, we encourage you to take the leap and apply for internship experience. Embrace the chance like you might on the pitch, in the pool or courtside. As with any game, the possibilities are endless, and with the right team, victory is just waiting for you. And if not, make like Michael Jordan and learn from it: “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot… and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

To all aspiring interns reading this, I encourage you to take the leap and apply for an internship at Fitzgerald Power. Embrace the chance to gain extraordinary first-hand experience, broaden your horizons, and ignite your passion for accountancy. Your future self will thank you for the transformative experience that awaits you at Fitzgerald Power. Get in touch today to apply careers@fitzgeraldpower.ie.