An inquisitive mind and an athlete skill-set landed Ashton a job at Intel after he retired from competition.
According to Rick, athletes can bring great insights to a company through your discipline, experience performing under pressure, and ability to learn and adjust.
Re-watch the video to find out more about our exciting new joint programme with Intel.
To complement the resources available on Athlete365 to empower and support you, we are delivering a series of webinars in 2020, providing new opportunities for you to engage with the Athlete365 community. After kicking off the series with two Olympic champions in Eliud Kipchoge and Axel Lund Svindal, followed by mental health expert Dr Claudia Reardon, for our fourth webinar we invited double Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton and Intel’s Rick Echevarria to discuss how athletes can transition from sport to a new career.
Speaking to our regular host Jeanette Kwakye and taking questions from the audience, Ashton and Rick also announced our exciting new programme with Intel, which will give you access to a suite of well-being, career mentoring, and learning and development opportunities.
I HAD A LOT OF TIME TO THINK AND REST. FOR THE FIRST TIME, I REALLY ALLOWED MYSELF TO THINK:‘WHAT MIGHT BE AFTER SPORT?’
Looking over “the edge of a cliff”
Ashton started off the webinar by discussing his own decision to retire after Rio 2016, and the beginning of his journey to becoming a Product Development Engineer with Intel.
“I couldn’t see myself going for another four-year cycle and being a 32-year-old [in Tokyo],” he explained. “In 2014, between London and Rio, I had an off-year where I wasn’t really doing much in the decathlon and had a lot of time to think and rest. And it was during that year that, for the first time, I really allowed myself to think: ‘What might be after sport?’
“There really was no plan on paper, and it wasn’t really clear in my mind,” he added about his career transition. “I was feeling a lot of trepidation and nervousness for the future, because you know sport so well. And looking beyond that, it was almost like jumping off the edge of a cliff into the unknown.”
It was during an Olympic Day event in San Francisco in 2019 that Ashton came into contact with Intel, and his interest in the company’s latest athlete-focused technology would quickly lead to a job with the tech giant.
The unique athlete skill-set
“Ashton was really intrigued by the technology that we planned to deploy in the Tokyo Games, called 3D Athlete Technology (3DAT),” explained Rick.
“He was highly inquisitive about it, and as I was watching and listening to him, some immediate thoughts came to mind. Number one: athletes are disciplined. Number two: they understand how to perform under pressure. And number three: they have to learn and adjust.
“If you look at those three attributes and you’re in the hi-tech industry at the epicentre of technology, where you’re competing every day, you want people who are disciplined, who perform under pressure, and who understand how to learn. So I said: ‘We’re going to hire Ashton’.”
An exciting new programme to benefit you
Since then, Ashton has been working for Intel as a Product Development Engineer and has been helping shape Intel’s 3DAT technology, as well as bringing important insights into the company from an athlete perspective. These insights have fed into the exciting new programme that was launched during the webinar through announcements from IOC President Thomas Bach and Intel CEO Bob Swann.
As part of the programme, Intel will provide new career development and well-being support services, which it already offers to its employees, to the Athlete365 community on the road to the postponed Olympic Games. These include career mentoring from experienced Intel mentors across the globe; learning and skills development opportunities from LinkedIn; and performance mindset support from Headspace and EXOS.
“I want to encourage everybody out there to spread the word to your Olympian colleagues and take advantage of these offerings, because they offer a little bit of everything, from the mentoring, to the mental wellness, to learning some skills,” said Rick towards the end of the webinar. “You can get yourself ready for the Games and life after the Games.”
I WANT TO ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY OUT THERE TO SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR OLYMPIAN COLLEAGUES AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE OFFERINGS.