Like most Temple University students getting ready for graduation, Daiyaan Butt, BBA ’23, has a checklist of things to do.
Complete assignments, finish classes, take finals.
Glove up, get in the ring, land a solid uppercut, win.
“Yeah,” laughs the Fox School of Business student who is also a professional boxer. “I’m knocking out people and I’m knocking out the books, all at once, getting my degree."
Butt, who has a 13-2 boxing record in the super light division, has his next bout scheduled for May 6, just days before he walks across the Liacouras Center stage to receive his bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems (MIS).
“It’s going to be a very eventful week,” he says.
His plan is to make quick work of his opponent and grab another TKO victory, much like he did in his last fight in December.
“I don't want to walk across the stage with a busted eye,” he says. “That would be pretty bad.”
Butt’s path to earning his degree has been a busy one, but this young man has found a way to balance both his education and boxing career to achieve his goals.
“I took some time off after high school to focus on my boxing career, and then when I thought I was ready to come back to school, I (went to) Delaware County Community College before transferring to Temple to wrap things up,” he says. “And now I’m at the finish line.”
Butt, the youngest of five children, is from West Philadelphia. He says choosing Temple was easy for him.
“My sisters and brother went to Temple and I am right from the area,” he says. “I knew it was a good school and had a really good business school. My boxing gym was nearby, so it was convenient and wasn’t too far.
“Everything fit like a puzzle piece. I had all the tools I needed right there.”
Butt says he is already integrating his business knowledge into his boxing career.
“That’s the goal,” he says. “Because you see athletes who have all this money and the next thing you know, they lose everything. So, I’m going to use my business background, what I’ve learned in school, to allocate my money and get further in my career and make the right choices.”
Butt acknowledges that most people would have thought that majoring in accounting or finance would have been a good option for achieving his goals. However, he didn’t take the expected path.
“I liked MIS because I was literally a computer nerd growing up, so to me, MIS is the best of two worlds,” he says. “You’ve got the business management experience and the computer science experience all in one.
“I’ll always have a job because the computer and technology industry is growing rapidly every year. Then, on the boxing side, I’ll have the business management part that I can lean into.
“It was the best of both for me.”
The plan is working out well for Butt as he recently accepted a position with Ernst & Young as a technology risk consultant. He will begin work later this year.
Butt has a lot of good things ahead of him and believes that his time at the Fox School has helped him be well-prepared for the future. He shares that wasn’t always the case; there were times he struggled.
“Right out of high school, I really didn’t think I was ready for college, I wasn’t focusing and doing my work, so I took some time off,” he says. “But when I was ready, I went back to school and then transferred to Temple and got it done.
“So, my advice is to be on top of your work. Don’t get lost in the sauce.”