Michael Mohamed will forever be remembered by Cal football fans—especially his play in the 2009 Big Game against Stanford. With only 90 seconds left, Stanford was poised for a game-winning touchdown.The quarterback tossed a perfect pass, but Mohamed, one of the Bears’ standout linebackersduring his Cal career, intercepted it, winning the game for Cal.
It was a thrilling moment, but it wasn’t Mohamed’s last highlight on the football field. The following year, he was drafted into the NFL by the Denver Broncos. Two years later he joined the Tennessee Titans, then the Houston Texans, where he played for a couple of seasons. Butin 2015 he suffered a serious calf tear that spelled the end of his athletic career.
Mohamed always knew he wouldn’t play forever; the average NFL careeris a little over three years.”I knew the day would come,” he says. “It happened a little sooner than I anticipated, but when it came, I didn’tlook back.”
As an undergrad at Haas, Mohamed had planned on a finance career. So he went back to school to earn an MBA at Indiana University. His focus was investment banking because he saw it as the “total package”—a career with endless variety and few dull moments.
Last spring, Mohamed started at Guggenheim Partners in Manhattan as an investment banking associate, advising companies on strategic directions and helping them raise capital. Banking is a big change from football, certainly, but Mohamed says the fast pace and opportunitiesfor both leadership and teamwork make him feel right at home.