Laura Gentile is the vice president of espnW, a sports network that strives to empower and engage female athletes and fans. Gentile’sespnW career is not her first rodeo when it comes to marketing and advertising. In fact, she has had a long and successful career in both the sports and advertising industries through various opportunities. The Duke graduate not only led the college’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament but was also named in the ACC’s 50th Anniversary field hockey team.

The following are Laura Gentile’s five tips on how to be successful in business, presented during Office Hours by Levo League.

Dig Into Your Passions

Laura has always loved sports, and she’s been lucky enough to turn her passion into a successful career. Even though she didn’t have a specific plan to make a living in sports, Laura managed to create an impressive job for herself in the industry. This is an important idea that often gets overlooked. If you want to become a corporate athlete, you need to be enthusiastic and positive about your interests. This will show dedication and hard work, which will definitely get the attention of others.

“I look back at when I was a young girl and loving sports and being an athlete, and that was all really pure,” Laura said. “It is refreshing to think back to that purity and think back to how that can translate to life at large where it is all about doing what you love.”

Be Disciplined All-Around

Its capability to keep us in good stead and prompt us to do better is what makes discipline such an important thing, not just for athletes competing at the highest level, but also for anyone trying to make it in the corporate world. According to Laura, in order to have a successful career, you not only need to think about your work ethic and goals for the future but also respect those around you. She recommended reminding yourself that being disciplined at work is often about doing the little things when no one else is around. Remember: “Are you disciplined enough to work when nobody else is watching?”

Keep Calm and Carry On

Stress on the job can quickly become overwhelming, just as it does during a crucial moment in a game. If your boss is constantly pestering you to meet an unrealistic deadline or your coach is screaming at you to make the shot that will win the game, being able to remain calm under stressful situations is another vital part of being the corporate athlete. When you start to feel overwhelmed, take some deep breaths or go for a walk outside to help you calm down and think about the situation in a more rational way.

“You can’t really break out and start crying in the middle of game,” Laura said. “I think that notion of calm under pressure and being levelheaded has certainly helped me in the business world.”


The idea of competition is vital in order to progress and achieve goals, whether in sports or business. By nature, humans are competitive beings that desire to come out on top. Channeling this sense of competitiveness allows an individual’s drive to succeed. It’s essential to comprehend what it means to battle against others and study the unspoken guidelines of your field whether you’re in sports or business. Laura also noted that we shouldn’t consider failure as true defeat. It’s crucial for people to understand that failures are opportunities to learn from.

Valuable Relationships

Because humans will continue to play a role in the business and sports industries, it is essential to create relationships with others if you wish to be successful. It’s important to surround yourself with people who want you to succeed and will help you achieve your goals. Build a network of supportive relationships that can offer guidance and advice when you need it. While it’s essential to focus on developing your own skills, remember that being a team player is also key to achieving success.

Get advice on furthering your career by tuning in to Office Hours with Emily Cavalier!

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