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Q&A: How Being An Athlete Can Push You To Succeed In Your Career

Written by MacKenzie Bierig, Recruiter and HR Support

At United Rentals, we’re on a journey to remain a top performer and the industry leader. Our growing fleet of rental equipment is handled by thousands of dedicated team members throughout the United States and Canada. Our team is driven, dedicated and competitive. Not only do we push each other to reach our maximum potentials, but we constantly work together to make our company better than it was the day before.

United Rental’s National Accounts Director, Tommy Clapp, is a perfect example of the aforementioned qualities and exemplifies how being an athlete has helped him succeed in his career. Tommy graduated from LSU in 1989 with a major in General Studies.

As a collegiate athlete, what was a day in your life like?

Every day was a constant battle between work and play. Juggling sports practices, long classes, hours of studying, and trying to maintain a social life was an ever going fight. It was tough at times, but Tommy was able to persevere and continue to do what he loved while getting his college degree.


What lessons did you learn as an athlete that applied to your career?

Lessons were learned every day. Commitment, dedication, teamwork, winning, losing, mental toughness, and accountability were the most significant lessons that Tommy had learned from being a collegiate athlete that translated perfectly with his career.

Commitment and dedication towards a goal or task was and is vital towards success of every kind. Without commitment and dedication, individuals would not be able to perform and excel in their jobs because they would be severely lacking in two integral areas.

Being able to work as a team and to stay connected is a lesson that carries over when moving into the workforce. Whether the team is winning or losing, the team is still a team. Creating and maintaining relationships with coworkers is vital in order to be successful because no one person can accomplish everything alone, everyone always needs help and support at some point, and that is where your team comes in to play.

Finally, mental toughness and accountability are the last of the many lessons Tommy learned from being an athlete that helped him in his career. As a director of national accounts, Tommy is constantly working for his customers and fighting against competitors to win new business. That is where mental toughness comes to play, he must be able to remain strong and not waiver when he hears “no” or does not get the business of a certain customer. He must remain focused and stay accountable to his current customers in order to keep them happy and keep United Rentals as their first call.


What made you want to join the equipment rental industry?

Tommy was referred to United Rentals from a former teammate of his many years ago. Tommy was looking for a good, stable career in the sales industry and found that United Rentals was the right fit. From the family-oriented, team-driven culture, Tommy was able to find a permanent home with United Rentals and establish his career to be what it is today.

Tommy isn't the only athlete who LOVES his career here. Connect with United Rentals now!