Sept. 10, 2009
BERKELEY - This article was featured in the Cal Kickoff Game Magazine, Sept. 5, 2009
Junior Mike Mohamed worked hard this offseason to prepare for his opportunity to become a starting linebacker for the 2009 Bears. Mohamed, a first-team 2009 preseason All-Pac-10 selection by Phil Steele and Sporting News, is Cal's leading returning tackler from the 2008 campaign. He has 133 career tackles, 86 coming last season, but has only started three games in his career, something that with much offseason preparation, drive, and determination, will most likely change this season.
To that end, Mohamed toiled in the weight room this summer, working five hours a day, preparing his body and his mind for the rigors of the upcoming season. If one couldn't find Mohamed in the weight room, the other place to find him was most-likely the UBS Financial Services office in Walnut Creek, sitting at his desk, working the phones and typing away at the computer.
Mohamed, a Business Administration major, spent three days a week as an intern for Kent Johansson, a UBS Wealth Advisor. Mohamed spent most of his time assisting Johansson facilitate an investment seminar. He called newspapers to check on advertising rates, worked on a direct mail piece and contacted various people about attending the event. Mohamed also helped Johansson with data entry and organization of his client database.
"Mike was the exact kind of employee that any employer would want," said Johansson. "He never missed a day and was always early for work. He was a self-starter. I would give him a project and he would go do it and only come see me when it was done. He was also very confident when speaking with people on the phone. Even when doing something new, he was always very sure of himself and what he was doing."
During the latter half of the summer, Mohamed's schedule got even more hectic with two summer school classes, Business Ethics and Oral Communication, in addition to his internship and his daily workout regime.
"It was a grind," said Mohamed who would catch the BART train at 7 a.m. each morning to make sure he was at the office on time. "I was putting in at least 12-hour days. Every day I would get up and just know I had to get through it, so I would push myself through it. It thought it would pay off, and I think it has."
The 2008 Pac-10 All-Academic first team honoree is still not sure what precisely he wants to do with his business degree after he graduates from the University, so he used the internship program as a way to start looking at some of his options. Mohamed enjoyed working at UBS, embracing the chance to step into the business world and get a glimpse into the realm of financial management.
"I think the most valuable thing about the internship was just being in the office environment itself. It's a side of life a lot of people don't get to see before getting out into the actual workplace. I think that interacting with other employees and seeing how an office system runs was probably the biggest thing."
The internship was arranged by Michael Andersen, the team's Director of Player Career Development. Mohamed was one of three football players to spend part of their summer working at an internship in the Bay Area private sector. Two players, Derrick Hill and Brett Johnson, worked in commercial real estate. Mark Boskovich worked at a small law firm, working very closely with the head of the firm, who personally showed Boskovich the responsibilities of a lawyer, including going to court.
"We work closely with alumni and members of the business community to create an internship that works for the business as well as working around the schedule of a football player," explained Andersen.
Andersen also stressed that there is a serious commitment to match the skill levels of the player to the skill levels required for the position in order to make sure that these internships become great opportunities for everyone involved. The student-athletes begin by filling out a profile that lists what they are trying to do, what they are majoring in, and other information. Mohamed, with his chosen major and solid academic record, jumped out as a 'great candidate' for this opportunity.
Johansson has enlisted the assistance of Cal football players each of the last three summers, with Jonathan Karacozoff and Corey Smits previously filling the role.
"Mike is a young man who will be very good at whatever he chooses to do." noted Johansson of Mohamed.
Unfortunately for the Maryland Terrapins offense, that doesn't just apply to the real world.
For more information about Cal Football's summer internship program, contact Michael Andersen (510- 642-8088).