Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning players Christian Isackson, Denny Kearney and Francis Verreault-Paul are preparing for life after ice hockey by studying for a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Buckingham.
Celebrate:MK went to meet them on campus before their daily lectures and found they are thriving away from the ice.
Three Milton Keynes Lightning players are showing they have both brains and brawn by excelling at the University of Buckingham as they prepare for life after ice hockey.
Overseas stars Christian Isackson, Francis Verreault-Paul and Denny Kearney are studying for a Masters in Business Administration as part of the highly-acclaimed local university’s partnership with MK Lightning.
Celebrate:MK joined the trio for lunch at the picturesque Hunter Street campus before their afternoon lectures, and found that they are thriving away from the ice on their one-year course.
Former NHL draft pick Christian, 26, from Minnesota, is targeting a career in sales once he hangs up his skates.
He said: “One of the influencing factors for me to come to Milton Keynes was that I wanted to play hockey and get my MBA as well, to build upon my undergraduate degree in marketing.
“The MBA at the University of Buckingham is an absolutely amazing course that will help me in the future when I finish playing hockey.
“The teachers have been very helpful and flexible with us, and we’ve had a lot of hands-on projects that I think will translate well into reallife scenarios.”
The Elite League trio train in the morning at Planet Ice Arena before jumping in a car to Buckingham together for their lectures in the afternoon.
Canadian forward Francis, 30, said: “We car pool from MK for our lectures from Monday to Thursday and I love it.
“The course is very challenging but it’s excellent – I have learned so much about the world of business.
“We finish lessons in June then we will be going back home to work on our thesis, and we can keep in touch with our supervisor over Skype.
“As a sportsman it’s so important to plan for what’s coming next as you can pick up an injury that ends your career in an instant.”
The University of Buckingham was rated top of The Times’ 2017 Good University Guide for teaching quality, student-staff ratio and student experience. American forward Denny, 30, was full of praise for the campus, class sizes and tuition.
He said: “The campus is beautiful, it’s really scenic and cosy. We like the small class sizes too because we receive more focused tuition from the professors – the time we spend at uni is great.
“On the ice we haven’t won as much as we would have liked this season, but we have loved every second of our time in England. This course at the University of Buckingham has been a huge part of our positive experience.”
And with that, we shook hands, the boys put on their book-filled backpacks and skipped off to a lecture.