Warren already preparing for the future
Monday, April 9, 2007
By Teresa Varley
It was back to school for long snapper Greg Warren who took part in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, a program offered by the NFL-NFLPA initiative to help players prepare for life after football.
Warren attended the program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania along with other current and former NFL players. The Wharton program covered a range of business topics, including financial analysis, entrepreneurship, real estate development, stock marketing investing and more.
"In this league every year you can't take the next for granted," said Warren. "You always want to have something else to fall back on when it's all said and done, whether it's the following year or 10 years or however many years it is from now. I feel like when I get done with football, whenever it is, I want to do something business oriented, but I have never had any business classes. To have the opportunity to go to one of the best business schools in the country, it's a no-brainer.
"I am still young in the league, but it's to help me get started and not make mistakes. Looking back people say I wish I wouldn't have done this deal or that deal. For me it's kind of surrounding myself by the right people to start with to minimize the mistakes I'll make."
The sessions are conducted by professors at Wharton, who are also some of the top businessmen in the country. There were two four-day sessions, both of them with a hectic pace that began at eight in the morning, and ended at eight at night.
"It's pretty intense. They throw a lot at you," said Warren. "Everybody is on different levels, but at the same time if somebody doesn't understand something, like me who didn't know a lot, they take time to explain it. If some of the other players understand more they help you out. We all help each other out."
Warren majored in biology at the University of North Carolina, but he knows that when football is all said and done for him, he wants to do something business oriented and real estate has definitely sparked his interest. Like many, he watches home improvement shoes like Flip That House, and has gotten a crash course on the business side of that type if venture.
"I was watching those shows before this and that's what made me decide I want to do something business oriented," said Warren. "It's something that excites me and I can enjoy. They brought in guys who told us their stories about flipping real estate, residential and commercial real estate. They taught us how to start up, if you want to take a warehouse and flip it into condos. They gave a lot of general ideas of how to do each business deal."
The program also offers practical examples, including a "field trip" to a business run by a current NFL player in the area.
"I enjoy seeing the examples," said Warren. "There is no one way everyone has made all of their money, including flipping houses. It's interesting to see how other people do it and how I am going to do it myself."
The sessions were strictly for NFL players, which made it somewhat easier on those who are novices in the business world.
"It's not intimidating, but you do realize who knows a little bit more," said Warren. "f you had some of those other business guys in there you would feel like you were on The Apprentice or something and would have to keep your mouth shut."