Spring break came early for Matt Light this year.
Fresh off his second Pro Bowl in as many seasons, Light enjoyed his return engagement more than his first trip to Hawaii.
"It was good, it was fun … a lot better than the first one. You know, having your teammates there with you and being able to go through it together … a lot more fun."
He had to make the most of his time in the tropics in February, because in March, while most college students are on spring break, Light went back to school.
He's back at Gillette Stadium now, taking part in the team's offseason strength and conditioning program. But in the short time off he had, Light managed to squeeze in another session of the NFL's Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program.
Each offseason, the league partners with some of our nation's most prestigious B-schools – Harvard, Kellogg (at Northwestern University), Stanford, and Wharton (at the University of Pennsylvania) – to give its players a chance to continue their business education or to get started on it for the first time.
"They start from ground zero, but they quickly build and give you a good foundation, and they really teach you how to look at things," said Light. "Whether you've had experience as a business major, or engineering like I did, they relate to guys really well. You're getting instruction from some of the top professors from around the world, so it's kind of hard to go there and not learn something or walk away with something."
There are usually two sessions, each typically lasting four days. Four full days. Classes begin at 8 a.m. and conclude around 9:30, according to Light. In past years, Light attended Wharton and Harvard. Earlier this month, he took part in the sessions at Kellogg. Each school's program focuses on a different aspect of business.
"They've developed these programs that are geared towards things that guys have shown interest in or gotten involved with, either starting a new business, being a young entrepreneur, and the pitfalls and challenges that come with that," Light explained.
"Or guys that have gotten into sports marketing, or guys that have shown interest in things off the field, whether it's broadcasting or marketing yourself. And how to look at financials, all the things that come with getting involved in a business, a real estate deal, etc.
"It's important for guys, when they get done playing college ball … and in college, your emphasis was school, but usually the priority was football … so, a lot of guys don't walk away with their degree. And the ones that do, and really enjoyed their college experience, really wish they could do some continuing education.
"And that's what these programs are great for. The more you know, the better decisions you can make," Light concluded, before adding with a laugh, "Hopefully, the less money you'll lose."