First Advisory Group
26 March 2021 - About us

Between a football jersey and a suit and tie

Ever since I was a child I have dreamt of becoming a professional footballer. And I have indeed realised this dream. But what comes next? How should my life look after my career in football? I have been engaging with this question for a while already. And so I have decided to add another string to my bow in addition to football, and enter the world of white-collar professionals. This article relates how I manage to accommodate football, my internship and studying under one umbrella.

My football career

My name is Sandro Wieser and since the autumn of 2020 I have been pursuing an internship at First. During this time, over the course of a year, I have had the privilege of becoming acquainted with various different departments. Alongside that, I am under contract to FC Vaduz. I discovered my passion for football when I was five years old. At 18 I debuted in Switzerland's top division, playing for FC Basel, and then, for a fee running into millions, moved to the German Bundesliga where I played against FC Bayern München in front of 80,000 spectators; indeed I was the first Liechtenstein national to play in the Bundesliga.

Such a rapid rise often gives no opportunity to look beyond the edge of the football pitch, and back then, adding a second string to my bow did not yet enter into consideration. From the perspective of the experience I now have, however, I can only recommend it to every top young sporting professional. Back then I was young, talented, disciplined, focused on achieving my objectives, and I was certain of being able to prove myself over the longer term at that level. Seven years later, I had already had six knee operations, was frequently out on loan, and played in locations far away from my family and friends.

During my career, I became aware that you also need luck in football. Factors such as injuries, being in the right place at the right time and having coaches who place confidence in young players are all very important. Recognising all of this led me to take my future into my own hands. Setbacks opened my eyes and allowed me to take something positive from the negative and to grow up. The dream I had had as a young boy gradually retreated further into the distance. And yet my ambition to achieve something did not.

I gradually noticed that football alone no longer fulfilled me. As a professional footballer, you are always on the road, often treated like a commodity and, with many of your fellow players, it is impossible to have a conversation on anything other than football. I met the person who is now my wife on my last posting abroad in Belgium, and decided to turn my life in another direction and think of my longer-term future. At the age of 25, I finally moved back to FC Vaduz with the expectation of encountering a familiar environment, of rediscovering the joy of football, of completing a further education course, acquiring experience in professional life outside football, and of aiming at the greatest possible success for FC Vaduz.

My entry into a new professional life

I decided to look for an internship that allowed me to be flexible, thereby giving me the opportunity to combine study, training and work. The First Advisory Group offered me a comprehensive internship in many different departments and areas of work. I absolutely love learning something new and discovering where my strengths and weaknesses lie. What is more, the internship gives me the opportunity to gain professional experience, to participate in various departments, and it is the perfect complement to top-level sport. Over the past few months, I have already been able to gain a great deal of experience and, in some instances, deploy attributes inherent to top-level sport. Indeed, team spirit is not only important in team sports but is also a precondition of success in professional life generally. People work together with the aim of achieving the best possible result.

I have already had the privilege of working in various departments and gathering impressions. The fiduciary services sector is extremely diverse and interesting. My internship is exceeding my expectations, and going to work is a pleasure. On Mondays, I attend the Buchs Vocational and Further Education Centre, and during the rest of the week, when not training, I am busy with my internship.

Looking to the future

My contract at FC Vaduz runs for another three years from June, and my intention is to fulfil that contract. Following my career in football, I could very well imagine working in the fiduciary services sector, since I am very interested in topics such as wealth structuring and wealth management. I am very grateful to the First Advisory Group for giving me the opportunity to undertake this multifaceted internship.

From:
Sandro Wieser
Trainee
First Advisory Group

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