As Corporate Traffic Logistics continues to grow as customer demand increases, we have hired more than 50 employees in just the past two years. Many of our most recent hires are student-athletes from several regional universities. Hiring former college athletes has proven to be very successful at CT, as we currently have several former athletes in leadership positions throughout the company.
Sly Szczesniewicz is a great example of a former athlete who has successfully transitioned into a sales leadership role. Sly joined CT in 2017 after excelling as a center back for the University of North Florida soccer program. After excelling in operations, he quickly moved into sales and within a few years became one of the company’s top performers. In the past two years, he was promoted to management and now oversees his own team.
We sat down with Sly for a quick Q&A to learn more about his journey and how he has been able to use what he learned on the field in his role as a manager.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in athletics?
I navigated the challenges of maintaining a delicate balance between athletic commitments and academic pursuits. Throughout this period, I embraced the importance of maintaining a positive mindset while managing the demands of both. Striving to make sound choices has aligned me with the path that would lead to the greatest benefits. Above all, I have prioritized my dedication to excellence.
What did you learn from college sports that you have brought to Corporate Traffic?
I believe that relationship-building is the most important skill I have brought into the workforce. I prioritize establishing strong connections by fostering trust. Additionally, the leadership skills developed in college sports enable me to motivate and guide my team toward success.
What skills did you learn from college sports that you use to manage your team?
It is important to approach situations with honesty and directness, immediately delving into the core issues at hand, whether they involve identifying problems or finding solutions. I value engaging in face-to-face conversations that prioritize clear communication. By fostering a straightforward and factual approach, I aim to efficiently address challenges and work towards effective resolutions.
Has there been a situation at Corporate Traffic in which you referred to your experience of playing soccer or being on a team?
Building strong relationships and fostering trust among teammates during my soccer career has enabled me to bring those same skills and values to my interactions with coworkers. I have learned that strong relationships are based on the foundation of trust. The lessons learned from my time in sports continue to guide me in building effective relationships, collaborating efficiently, and ultimately achieving success in the corporate landscape.
What advice would you give a student-athlete entering the workforce?
I would like to pass on a message from a former coach that states “winners get stuff.” The work ethic cultivated through collegiate sports transcends into the professional realm, bolstering one’s dedication to achieving goals. Moreover, this work ethic only grows stronger with experience and time.
Is there something you wish someone would have told you coming into the workforce?
I wish to tell current athletes coming into the workforce that “you are not doing a bad job, just move on to the next piece.” Rather than dwelling on perceived shortcomings or mistakes, embracing a mindset of continuous improvement and resilience is essential. This approach encourages adaptability, learning from experiences, and seizing new opportunities, ultimately fostering success in the face of challenges.