For Miami Dolphins cornerback, Byron Jones, football is so much more than just his passion and career.
“I probably wouldn't have the opportunity to really evolve into the person that I am today if I didn't have football. Just being a part of this community and being around really interesting people has really forced me to grow in spaces I've never even imagined again, I didn't know this stuff existed seven years ago,” said Jones.
When Jones is not at practice, watching football film or playing on some of the most famous football fields nationwide, he is busy learning.
From private equity, real estate, venture capital and more, he continues to learn about emerging businesses in which he can be a part of. He emphasized how important it is to him to continue learning beyond his years in school. He said with passion in his voice, “Anything where I'm learning a new industry, a new company and learning about teams and how they work together on a common goal to me, that's really exciting stuff that as a kid I never fathom.”
And Jones’ focus on learning didn’t start after he graduated, while he was a student-athlete at the University of Connecticut he balanced being an athlete, student and employee, as an intern. As a student, he interned at the state capitol and as a congressional staffer in Washington, DC, and while interning at these high-level jobs, he still made sure he was getting his football training in before and after work.
Taking an internship while being a collegiate athlete, especially at Jones’ level is not common but he explained, “But I kind of knew just seeing people around me that there are other versions of success. The way to get there you have to pursue early and relentlessly and that's why I did an internship. Number one, to see if I like this, and also number two to get the networking component as well.”
Recently Jones has used his experience both on and off the field in the local Miami community through the Talent Development Network. At the TDN conference, he shared his story and journey, as an athlete, student and former intern.
During the offseason, Jones commits himself to his investments and furthering his education. With about three to five phone calls a day, asking a variety of questions and learning about all different fields, from development, venture capital, real estate and more. “I want to hear their stories,” he explained, “I want to hear the challenges, I want to hear what makes them good at what they do.”
When football season comes around, he trades the phone calls for hours on the field. But even when he is home from football and team meetings he is continuing to learn but all about his opponents, “One big thing in NFL you have to do is watch film. So I take like an iPad, and I watch film of the opponent, I watch the guy I'm going against, I watch the quarterback.”
Jone is so much more than number 24 on the field. He has committed himself to learning both on and off the field and the Miami community is lucky to have such an individual in our city.
Photography by: GETTY