Our team is made up of nine people who just click. We all have different personalities and different backgrounds, including in skiing (alpine and cross-country), ice hockey, football, human resources and communications. Niels and Rahel are still active in their sporting disciplines alongside their second careers, while Julia, Beni, Pascal and Sevi are retired athletes who have forged successful careers in business. Dave, Fabio and Sarah combine their passion for sport with their professions, and bring expertise in human resources, communications and sports management.
During his impressive football career, Beni won the Swiss Championship and the Swiss Cup. He also played in the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Europa League, the European Championships and the World Cup, and was named Swiss Footballer of the Year in 2010. He retired from professional football in 2012, and is now in high demand as a speaker, as a coach, and as a football expert for SRF. Despite struggling early on following his retirement, his optimism and fighting spirit helped him overcome any obstacles in his way. A firm believer in the saying ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’, the Basel man knows only too well that to achieve your goals, you have to take your future into your own hands.
As a still active athlete, Carol knows what it means to manage a dual career and therefore knows the challenges of our athletes very well. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is currently studying for a master’s degree in business innovation. In addition, she has already gained valuable work experience in auditing and HR. The internship at the Athletes Network offers her an ideal opportunity to combine what she has learned in her studies with her passion for sport.
Dave’s handball career was short and sweet. In fact, his only appearance in Switzerland’s NLA league lasted just three minutes. A change of career took him into the world of HR, where his exceptional people skills, courage and tenacity made him a sure-fire rising star. As the Global Head of HR at an international insurance company, he supported talented young people as they took their first steps on the career ladder, overseeing processes of change and development. Ultimately, he decided to join the Athletes Network so he could combine his skills with his passion for sport.
Fabio has always been fascinated by the world of sport. His commitment to the Athletes Network allows him to live out his passion for sport every day. Personally, he has no elite sports career behind him. Instead, Fabio completed a commercial apprenticeship with a professional maturity and then a bachelor’s degree at the FHNW and a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Bern. To be active in sports during his studies, he founded his own floorball club with a few colleagues. At the beginning, the club had 8 members. Now there are already over 40 people who belong to the club.
A former cross-country skier and a member of Switzerland’s junior national team, Julia retired from her sporting career at a relatively early age. It was then that she turned her attention towards studying management and organisational culture. Her background as an athlete has helped her find her way in many situations throughout her career. The Davos-born former athlete strongly believes that it’s becoming more and more important to adopt an athlete’s mentality in the workplace, particularly given all volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in today’s world. She aims to help companies appreciate the benefits of this mindset through the Athletes Network.
Driven by his passion for high adrenaline and fast corners, Niels is right in the midst of his alpine skiing career. He is among the top 15 downhill skiers in the world, and is also enjoying considerable success in super‑G and alpine combined. As the youngest member of the team behind the Athlete’s Academy, Niels represents athletes who are still competing, bringing his creativity, vision and pragmatic approach to bear. The Zurich-based skier believes that there is a right path for everyone, but it’s down to each of us as individuals to find it.
Having studied for a vocational diploma alongside his professional football career, Pascal had no difficulty transitioning to a degree course in Business Information Technology at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. But it’s not always that easy for professional athletes to change careers. That’s why Pascal supports the Athletes Network with data and customer relationship management. His work allows us to support every athlete individually and get them the help they need as efficiently as possible. For this calm, collected member of the team, it’s the perfect way of indulging his passion for sport within the business world.
After six years in the women’s Bundesliga, this experienced international footballer is back with her home-town club, FC Zurich, and working with the Athletes Network to build up her professional experience while continuing her football career. On and off the pitch, Rahel stands out thanks to her team spirit, determination and ambition. At the Athlete’s Network, we’re walking the walk, and showing athletes they can enter the world of business even if they have no traditional work experience behind them.
Our Athletes Network internship is giving this Sports Management student the perfect opportunity to combine her passion for sport with her day job. Having previously worked in property, Sarah is now taking on a new challenge supporting the event management team. Her interest in sport was sparked at a young age in the gymnastics hall, and she still shows off her skills on the apparatus for her local club in Egg.
Severin’s glittering ice hockey career got off to a great start – with a runners-up medal from the World U18 Championships. He went on to win four Swiss Championship titles, the European Champions Hockey League and the Swiss Cup. He was also part of the Swiss senior side that won silver at the World Championships in 2018. When he embarked upon a career outside the sporting world, Severin found that even bigger challenges awaited him off the ice. That’s why he’s so passionate about sharing his experiences with other athletes as an Academy Coach, and helping them to them navigate what can be a very tricky transition.