Posted by RLPA
Career Development: Adam Clune
The Career Development Q&A is an RLPA content series that promotes career development opportunities for players and the importance of planning for life after footy.
Each article will feature an NRL player who has engaged in meaningful development opportunities away from the field, while also providing an insight for other players and the industry about their journey.
The content series also highlights academic achievements from within the playing group, many of which have utilised the support available through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program.
Part 15 of the Career Development Q&A features St George Illawarra playmaker Adam Clune.
Q1 What off field development are you completing or have completed?
I have completed a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance).
Q2 Why did you choose this field?
I was initially only studying Law because I enjoyed legal studies at school. However, after two years of studying I was missing working with numbers and so decided to pick up a commerce degree and major in Finance because I have always loved math.
Q3 Did you always have this career path in mind?
Not at all, I was never really sure what career path I wanted to take. Even when I decided to do a Law degree I wasn’t convinced that it was the career path for me. However, I knew that having a Law degree would potentially open up a broad range of job opportunities down the track ,so given my uncertainty at the time of enrolling into University, I thought that would be a good place to start.
Q4 Have you utilised any support available to players through the NRL-RLPA Wellbeing and Education program?
The Graduates of League Program was incredibly helpful when I first started out at University. Through the program I was able to access a tutor who helped me develop skills that were essential in helping me get through the early stages of my degree. The support provided by this program was crucial in allowing me to complete a degree whilst pursuing a professional Rugby League Career.
I was also able to utilise the RLPA Education funding that is available to players. I completed the majority of my degree while I was playing Reserve Grade so the funding provided was significant in subsidising the costs associated with studying.
Q5 What plans or goals do you have for post-retirement?
Initially I would like to work in an environment that allows me to develop my skills, specifically in those areas that relate to the study I have completed. Further down the track, I am interested in moving into a management position within a sporting organisation or sporting body where I am able to combine my love of sport with those learned skills to make a positive impact in the sporting world.
Q6 If you could give yourself one piece of career advice back in your rookie year what would it be?
I would say to find something that stimulates your mind and allows you to keep busy outside of Rugby League. Learning provides great fulfilment and maintaining a balance in life will allow you to perform better on the field.
Q7 How important is it for players and the industry to prioritise career development opportunities?
Personally I think that pursuing a career or interests outside of Rugby League is vital. I believe that external interests are extremely beneficial for a player’s mental welfare as it provides a release from Rugby League, especially when things may not be going so well on the field e.g. poor form, losing streak or injuries. Chipping away at career development opportunities is crucial for a player’s transition out of Rugby League and can make what may seem like a daunting change much easier.
With the support that is now available it is important that players use their time wisely to pursue interests that will provide them with opportunities post-retirement.
Q8 Was there a time you felt like giving up on your studies and if so, what helped you keep going?
Given the fact that I completed my study before signing an NRL contract, I never considered giving up on my studies. There were times when I questioned whether the path/ degrees I had chosen were right for me, but I have always kept at it because I knew I needed something to fall back on if Rugby League did not work out or my career was cut short.
Q9 What is something you are currently doing away from the field that you are most proud of? (e.g. career related activity, community work, supporting a charity or something people might not know about you)
I am currently trying to learn French. I have always wanted to learn another language and when the restrictions ease I hope to obtain a French tutor to help me through this learning process. I also work part-time with the RLPA as a Finance assistant which has been really good for the development of practical skills that I didn’t necessarily get exposed to at University.