Parramatta Eels Rugby League Club Centre, Will Penisini is reaching for his dreams – balancing his dual passions of Sport and Business. Will started his Bachelor of Business degree at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) in February 2021. And at only 19 years of age, he has also already had a taste of the career of his dreams as a professional Rugby League player, debuting for the Sydney’s Parramatta Eels in the same year.
His passion for Rugby League – and the mighty Parramatta Eels – goes back to when Will was very young, watching his father play league on the weekends and passing a football around with his brothers.
Will started playing Rugby League at the age of 9, for a local club in the Parramatta District, he was then being selected for representative teams in primary school and high school. In this time he was fortunate enough to be selected in representative teams for Rugby Union as well.
“I played 1st XV for The King’s School and continued my Rugby League journey through the junior’s development pathway for the Parramatta Eels. This gave me the opportunity to start my first NRL pre-season straight after I graduated high school.
I really enjoyed the training, mate-ship and competitiveness of the sport and always looked forward to the weekend games,” said Will.
When choosing a college or university to study at, Will said that he knew friends at school who were also looking at ICMS, he did some research and found out about the amazing opportunities ICMS provides for students.
“I chose to study at ICMS because it isn’t your average university. It provides much more than just the study aspect. The professionalism and support I have received from ICMS has been exceptional.
One thing that interest me, is the Industry Training internship program, having the opportunity to experience on the job training in your chosen field,” said Will.
Having a balanced life is important for all students, and finding that balance between his bachelor degree study and training and playing professional sport can be challenging. When training with the Parramatta Eels, Will says there can be days where he will train for hours on end and then catch up on lectures and assessments later.
“Sometimes it can be quite challenging to balance uni work and footy, in particular days where I am training 6 hours a day or have a short turn around time between games. With any sports it can be physically and mentally draining.
On my day off, I try and recharge, catch up on my studies and complete my assessments. I find doing something other than footy helps me refocus and clear my mind. I have a great support network to help me balance both footy and studies. My lecturers have been very helpful, working with me to complete my tasks”.
Will chose the Bachelor of Business degree for its broad application across many sectors.
“So far it has been a great experience, giving me a broader understanding of different business aspects and how it can relate to some of the decisions in my personal life and professional career. This is very appealing to me as I can relate to what is being taught in my lessons”.
As his career as a professional Rugby League player with the Parramatta Eels continues, Will says that he believes it is very important to have balance.
“In my opinion, it is very important to have a balanced life and do something outside of Rugby League, whether that is studying or working on something you are passionate about. In my case, I decided to study something that will help me in the future.
This also helps me take my mind off footy and focus on something else. Talking to more experienced players, they mentioned doing something on the side has made them play better as they are not just thinking about footy all the time”.
Will’s goal for the future is to continue his Rugby League career, complete his degree and potentially start his own business or lead an organisation within the business industry.
The Parramatta Eels are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta. The Parramatta District Rugby League Football Club was formed in 1947, and their home ground was Parramatta Stadium (formerly Cumberland Oval).
The ICMS Bachelor of Business is designed to position you for business success in any industry, with a focus on future-proofing you for adaptability in a rapidly changing world.
Bachelor of Business subjects focus on developing core business skills such marketing; agile leadership, collaboration and managing people; strategic planning and innovative problem solving; and of course financial literacy. Our goal is to develop business leaders ready to take advantage of all that an international business career offers.
Business subjects are supplemented by elective subjects from a range of business areas. Your choices might include electives in marketing, international tourism, entrepreneurship, hospitality management, sports management and event management. You could also pick from specialist contemporary areas of business such as leadership, innovation or project management. This allows you to build a personalised educational experience that reflects your interest and ambitions.