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Alumni Engagement

Business grad scores gig playing pro hockey in Germany

December 4, 2012

So you graduate from Red River College’s Business Administration program with a major in marketing — what next? Well, if you’re Alex Kampen, you pack your bags and move to Bremerhaven, Germany, to play professional hockey.

Kampen, 21, grew up in Winnipeg and joined his first organized hockey team at the age of six, playing for the North Kildonan Cobras. As he gained more experience and his profile grew, he made his way up to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), where he played with the Selkirk Steelers for three seasons.

“Hockey has always been my life,” says Kampen from Germany. “It’s really been that driving force.”

Knowing he would eventually outgrow the MJHL age requirement, Kampen began exploring full-time post-secondary programs that interested him. After hearing good things about RRC, Kampen decided its Business Administration program would be the perfect fit.

Kampen spent his first year studying the foundation of business practices at RRC’s Roblin Centre downtown. During his second year, he took the initiative to bring a friend’s business idea to life while also finding a way to incorporate hockey into his studies. For his program’s Entrepreneurship Practicum, he worked with a small group of other Business students to create, develop and pitch “Puck Honey Stick Wax.”

The hockey product is a wax derived honey from honey farms and is meant to be used on the blades of hockey sticks to prevent water, snow or ice from sticking, which in return increases puck control and other performance variables.

Today, Kampen says he carries life-lessons learned during his time at RRC with him in Bremerhaven, where he plays for the Fischtown Pinguins in the 2012-13 Oberliga season.

“At Red River College, you’re definitely forced to do really well working with others. Right now, I’m on a hockey team and we all need to function and be efficient while working together.”

Kampen says he hopes to continue playing hockey for as long the opportunity is there, but is optimistic for the future where his business background may play a key role.

“I definitely want to apply myself to the business industry once I’m done with my hockey career. But you never know when that will be.”

“Fortunately for me I’m still young. I have a lot time to think about what direction I want to head. And fortunately, there are a few different doors I can take.”

Profile by Elizabeth Catacutan (second year, Creative Communications)