“You can have teammates where tough love will work for them, others need an arm around their shoulder, so being able to recognise that and work as a team on the pitch can easily translate to the office” 

Kamal Oke.

Kamal’s passion for sport has followed him from a young age, with rugby being his sport of choice. Starting at the age of 11, he played at county level for Surrey, before joining the renowned Harlequins Rugby Academy.  

As captain of the first team, Kamal led his team to Bronze at the London Youth Games. He then ended up leaving for Rosslyn Park, where he played at national level, winning over Sale Sharks away being a particular highlight of his career on the pitch. 

“Being captain for the ones and getting bronze at the London Youth Games, leading a team of players from different schools and bringing everyone together, that was pretty special. I then played for Rosslyn Park which was a pretty good level. We played at the Sale Sharks stadium and won, which was live streamed on the RFU England website. Going away to Manchester for the weekend and doing that was definitely a fun experience.”  

The Transition Process. 

Following his time playing at Rosslyn Park, Kamal made his move to Canterbury where he started studying towards his LLB in Law at the University of Kent. 

“At the time, University of Kent was 13th in the UK for Law, so a top law school which was exciting. I wanted to do a degree that was broad and wouldn’t put me on a narrow road, something I could apply to everyday life or to whatever career I wanted to go into. I knew going in that I probably didn’t want to be a lawyer and doing the course confirmed it, there was a lot I didn’t like. But sports law was interesting, and I guess the dream is to be a sports consultant, so being able to get this consultancy job mixed with my natural love and passion for sports is a dream come true in many ways” 

The next step after his time at Kent was trying to get a job that would allow him to combine his passions and find something that would play to his skill set, which wasn’t an easy process, he tells us.  

“Graduating in Covid was a bit of a shock, and it was hard. I wasn’t one of those people who was applying in 2nd or 3rd year for the grad jobs, as I’m not someone who thinks too far ahead. So, last year summer I spent a lot of time just doing temp stuff like COVID test sites and deliveries, but then just before the new year I thought to myself “I really want to get a job and be in something serious before the birth of the new year.” 

“2 years after graduating, I wanted to be in something stable. I wanted to be able to grow and build and save. So, this summer I stopped one job and decided to focus on finding that job.” 

It was at this point that Kamal got chatting with our Athlete Relationship Managers here at TTP, a pivotal step in his career transition process, he explains: 

“I came across you guys, The Transition Phase that is, and I have to say the team is INCREDIBLE! The number of emails or phone calls I had; the team were so accessible. I went on countless different interviews, and in times where I gave up hope, TTP didn’t. I was always being reassured that I was a strong candidate and was going to get something. I’m really grateful for being able to meet the team and get this job. A lot of where I am now is down to you guys.” 

When asked to reflect upon his own journey, he gave an honest account about how hard it can be and how his sporting background helped him: 

“One thing I do pride myself on, is that ‘bounce-back-ability’ I’ve developed from my sporting background. You kind of have to have a short memory because in a game, if you have a bad performance, you’ve still got the next half and you’ve got to quickly move on, because at the end of the day, dwelling on it is just going to negatively affect you because everybody else is going to keep moving.”

“Whether it’s a match day or whether it’s an interview, you just have to try and learn from it and take it into the next one.”

‘It’s also the ability to communicate and have that level of emotional intelligence. You might have teammates where tough love will work for them, others need an arm around their shoulder, so being able to talk and work as a team can easily translate to the office, especially as a consultant.’

The New Start. 

The former Harlequins and Rosslyn Park player is now working as a Business Development Consultant at Workr Group.  

“I enjoy being with my colleagues, they’re really welcoming and supportive. The team is important when you’re doing something new for the first time, so you’re not afraid to ask questions. They’re always telling me “Ask questions, ask questions” and they never expect me to know all the answers first time. One of the first things they did was buy me a notepad and pen. In this sector day to day, it can change a lot. I enjoy talking to people and helping them out.” 

We were really pleased to hear that Kamal l is being supported in his new role. When asked to reflect upon his own journey, he left us with this piece of advice for other athletes thinking about a similar career transition:  

“Go for what you want. Have that ‘never give up mentality’- it’s always on to the next one really and truly. People are going to say no to you, the amount of people that said no to me because “I didn’t have experience” or feeling that “I wasn’t good enough at this or that” but it isn’t that you’re not good enough, it’s just you’re more knowledgeable in another area, and eventually someone will see that and take a chance on you.” 

“You will prove people wrong. After all the no’s eventually there’s going to be a ‘yes’ and you’ve just got to hold on for that. When I finally got the ‘yes” – ahhhhhhh (he exclaimed in relief). If you hold on for that ‘yes’, it’ll make all the trials and tribulations worth it.”