Catching Up with Former Reps: Winston Justice
Former NFL offensive tackle Winston Justice spent 8 seasons with the Eagles, Colts, and Broncos. He played his collegiate career at University of Southern California, and is regarded as one of the best tackles to come out of USC. We caught up with Winston and he gave us insight into his life during and after football. ?
What is your current career?
I’m a vice president at AllianceBernstein, so I do investment research and asset management. My favorite aspect is being able to use financial skills and a team to surround an institution or endowment or charity, or even a family office, to help achieve their financial goals. When they achieve their goals, it’s really gratifying, and also being able to do it with your team.
How would you describe your experience leaving the game?
Every transition you do, especially with work, is going to be challenging at first, and there still are challenges. But I think I surrounded myself with the right type of people to really help me combat a lot of those challenges, like that feeling of self-worth, the feeling of you aren’t what you do, the feeling of significance and purpose. So just as important as it is to find something you enjoy doing, you also need to surround yourself by positive people who are going to point you in the right direction.
What are you most proud of during your time as a player rep?
I was proud of serving the guys that voted me to be a team rep. I used the experience of service into every aspect of my life and job. Being a true leader is being a servant, and my experience as a team rep was really, truly being of service to my teammates.
How has being a player rep impacted you personally & professionally?
Being a team rep kind of sparked my interest in business, especially being a team rep during the lockout and talking to guys about their finances. It sparked my interest, and it wasn’t the overall spark, but it was one of the reasons I wanted to pursue going back to school while I was playing, and why I wanted to immerse myself in business and prepare myself for after football. It kind of opened up a different world for me.
What advice would you give to yourself looking back?
Always be prepared for life after football, or life after what you’re currently doing, because it doesn’t last forever. But at the same time – and this is hard to do – is to be present where you’re at now and enjoy the time you have with your teammates and enjoy the time you have with your coaches. The experience of being in the NFL is such a unique experience that it should be cherished, and there are so many life lessons you can use even after.
Have you taken advantage of any of the services of the PA since retirement?
Yeah! When I went and got my MBA I got reimbursed for those classes. When I went and got the CFA certification I went and got that reimbursed. I went to Wharton and took a program there, and I also went to Notre Dame. I also did an internship (maybe that’s through the NFL), but I did an internship there. But I always try to take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us, especially through education.
Right now I’m just thinking and learning as much as I can in this business now, to really evolve and to do something else. I guess to answer this question, I don’t really have an answer. It really is an evolution of thought, an evolution of me as a person. But it’s definitely finance, business, family, and God are all intertwined in one to come up with one solution for the future.