Punters may have the least contact position in football, but Zoltan Mesko — punter for the New England Patriots — is already working on Plan B.
He has taken an offseason job as an intern for private equity firm Graham Partners Inc. He'll have plenty of time, too. His offseason has been extended by a 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling May 16 that keeps an NFL lockout intact.
Mr. Mesko not only spent his five years as a University of Michigan Wolverine earning career and single-season records for punts and punting yards, but he also earned a bachelor's degree in business and a master's degree in sports management and communications.
“Zoltan was introduced to us through a Graham-related alumnus of the University of Michigan who had met Zoltan and heard that he had an interest in learning more about private equity,” said Christina W. Morin, Graham managing principal, in an e-mail. The alumnus just happened to be Donald Graham, chairman of the Graham Group, which is the parent of Graham Partners and private equity firms Inverness Graham Investments and Striker Partners.
Mr. Mesko had offers from other private equity firms, but he liked the experience offered by Graham Partners. “I didn't want to do (a) 100-hour grind in New York City plugging away at (financial) models,” Mr. Mesko said in an interview. “I wanted to get a Plan B going. Plan A, which is football, seems easier if you have yourself hedged. ... That's kind of why I did this ... so I will know what I will do when football ends."