Alumni Stories

May 16

A Lesson in Career Management

May 16, 2017 | 4:35 pm

If tenacity is the foundation to a successful career, then Shawn “Pecas” Costner is truly a master at his craft. Costner, who is the Senior Management Executive at Roc Nation Sports, built his career on forging relationships with some of the most prominent names in the entertainment industry. He spent nearly two decades honing his skills with the likes of legendary CEO of Uptown Records Andre Harrell and music mogul Steve Stoute.

Costner shared his career journey with the Hayes junior and senior classes during a recent visit. “If you are scared of hard work it will be difficult to be successful. It was grit that helped me to be the person that I am today. That is what will set you apart .”Costner’s message of perseverance resonated with students in the audience. Senior Xavier Merced was grateful for the practical advice on how to navigate the business world. “Hayes is big on networking, and Mr. Costner reinforced those values during his address. He definitely assured us that hard work does pay off.”Most recently, Costner decided to chart a new career path when he switched gears from music to sports management. Although the two fields differ, he still applies the same principles to his new career. “You have to be willing to take chances. It is important to develop a strong level of enthusiasm in everything that you do. That will be the fuel to help you achieve your goals.”

This rare visit was made possible by Hayes alumnus Arthur Tisi ’79. Costner and Tisi have a longstanding friendship and are staunch advocates of building strong partnerships. Tisi spent decades in the tech field developing a vital strategic framework for renowned organizations like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York Presbyterian Hospital. After years in the tech business, Tisi knows that self-confidence is the bedrock of a successful career. “You should never let anybody label you. You must believe in your vision. The more you believe it, the more it will become a reality.”

Eighteen-year-old Josue Claxito gained a great deal of inspiration from the visit. “This experience gave me hope. I wanted to major in business and thought that I would have to do this alone. I learned from Mr. Tisi and Mr. Costner that it was ok to rely on the help of others. I thought it was only about individual hard work but learned that it is equally important to accept help from others to achieve your dreams.”