This is the first in a series profiling Big East players with interesting summer jobs or internships.
Zack Chibane wakes up most morning and throws on workout clothes, ready for another round of offseason conditioning as the days tick closer to the start of fall practice.
When he’s all done, he emerges from the football facility looking more like a lawyer and less like a three-year starter along the Syracuse offensive line.
The truth is, Chibane fits both looks this summer. As he prepares for his senior football season, Chibane also is getting a firsthand feel for what it takes to succeed in the field of law. He has a summer internship at Hancock Estabrook in Syracuse, the same firm Donovan McNabb interned while he was playing for the Orange.
Chibane had to convince the law firm to create a spot for him, after it discontinued its internship program several years ago.
“I’d like to think that I impressed them when we sat down for our interview at a restaurant with the hiring director,” Chibane said. “Maybe they wanted to see that I was serious about it and not just a football player that wanted to make some money or something like that. They wanted to see that I was legitimately interested in the field.”
His interest really began to take off last summer, when he worked at the state Supreme Court in downtown Syracuse for Judge John Cherundolo, an All-American tackle for the Orange in the 1970s. Cherundolo is friends with coach Doug Marrone, and helped guide Chibane through the process of considering law school.
“I want to play football as long as possible, but you have to be ready when football ends because as we all know, it’s not going to be there forever,” Chibane said. “He’s helped me through this process and more than just introducing me to law, he talked to me about what his mind-set was coming out of college, juggling his want to play in the NFL with the need to be ready afterward. It’s something you need to be ready for.”
While working at the Supreme Court, Chibane worked with two law students, and helped summarize cases. He also sat in on case arguments and tried to soak up as much information as he could. He turned his focus this summer to the private sector to see how that field operates, and to begin helping him decide what he should do in the future.
His firm handles a lot of business law, business acquisitions, property law and trusts and estates. He has helped in several of the different departments. But Chibane also said that the jobs have helped prepare him for the start of practice.
On the days he has to work out and put in a full days’ work, he is gone for 13 hours, and arrives home physically and mentally drained.
But there is a bright side.
“I was telling some of my roommates this is good for me for when camp rolls around because camp is a shock to your body on all levels -- mentally, physically and emotionally,” he said.