Athlete Profile: Nzingha Prescod

Nzingha is an Olympic fencer who represented the USA at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Born in Brooklyn, Nzingha took up fencing at just nine years old. She developed her talents at the well-regarded Peter Westbrook Foundation, and went on to win her first Youth National Competition in 2003.

Numerous titles and awards studded her rise through the women’s world rankings which culminated in a gold medal-winning performance at the 2011 Junior World Championships in Jordan. Such solid victories on the international stage ensured Nzingha’s place at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

History was made three years later when she took bronze to become the first African-American woman to win an individual event medal at a senior World Championships; the following year, she travelled to Brazil as a key competitor for the Rio Olympics.

Striking a perfect balance between sport and academia, Nzingha graduated Columbia University in 2015 with a BA in Political Science and Government, Race and Ethnicity. This sustained application to excel at the highest level helped bring the Olympian to the attention of sports career transition specialists Athlete Career Transition (ACT) during Rio 2016, as they searched for female Olympians to follow a business internship with global services provider, EY.

Nzingha’s credentials made her a stand-out candidate and she was selected alongside eight other elite athletes for EY’s Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Intern Program.

Life after sport

In September 2016, Nzingha joined EY’s National Data and Analytics (DnA) practice, which focuses on delivering sector-specific solutions that drive client value. The role sees the former pro sportswoman deal with the life sciences industry, working on of one of EY’s flagship clients alongside some of the organisation’s foremost data scientists.

Based out of EY’s New York office, Nzingha’s internship is developing her core consulting and analytics skills. She is also benefitting from ongoing transitional support through ACT alongside coaching from ACT’s transitional sports psychologist, Ben Paszkowec.

Before her internship, Nzingha spoke to ACT:

“Being in the US Olympic Fencing team has taught me many things about myself and life. Always striving to be the best I can be and bringing out the best in people around me has been so important to me in my sports career. That all fits perfectly with EY’s purpose of ‘building a better working world.’ It makes perfect sense to me and something I will strive for. I can’t wait to get started,” she said.

“I’ve had great support from ACT throughout my transition from sport into business,” she added.

Stay tuned for more updates on Nzingha’s progress.

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