Diana (Koch) Busino '06 majored in psychology and Spanish at Union College. Today, she is managing director and chief operating officer at Turnkey Search, an executive search firm focused in the sports and live entertainment industries. Diana spearheads searches for management and C-level executives within sports teams, leagues and anything that supports live entertainment (including brands that partner with the industry, agencies and vendors that support it, media companies, etc.). In addition to overseeing and leading a team of recruiters, she also serves as the COO of the overall company, managing its processes, systems, procedures and quality control. Diana is a member of Women in Sports and Events (WISE) and she is assisting in launching a local chapter in the greater Philadelphia area. She and her husband, David Busino ’06, have a three-year-old son, Mason, and many of their activities revolve around him. David and Diana have a shared love for sports, particularly football and hockey, so much of their free time usually involves a game on in the background.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your career or volunteer activities?
My job is much like a sports season – we show up every day and we either win or lose (thankfully win more than lose!). It can be a challenging, high-pressure environment to work in, but I find it extremely satisfying. Understanding that the underlying result of what I do is someone landing a dream job fuels that energy to show up every day, but it certainly is not an environment for the faint of heart. I believe it’s absolutely critical that someone in any role be driven by a greater purpose than simply getting the work done, and if you have that passion, as I do for our clients and our candidates, it makes that challenge worth it.
Who inspired/inspires you, both professionally and personally?
In my early years at Turnkey, I had a very close mentor in our previous COO. She really took me under her wing and taught me the business. She would spend hours and hours with me and I was just a sponge for information. I wanted to understand how the “gears” worked and her endless insight, patience and advice steered me into the role that I now hold. My son is also a source of constant inspiration – as anyone with kids can attest, there is no better teacher of patience than a toddler!
What advice would you offer today’s women students, not just at Union, but across the country?
Be bold. I think with all the societal changes right now, we live in an environment where it is more comfortable or better received when we ask for what we want and go after the things we want to do. But you have to have the confidence and the boldness to actually ask for it. Additionally, the greatest professional advice I ever received was “get to the money,” meaning align yourself with the parts of the business that drive the revenue and drive the business forward. If you participate in that and contribute to it, you make yourself critical to the growth of the company and chart a path forward for yourself. Historically, in at least the sports business (but I believe across many industries), women have aligned themselves more with “support”/expense-center positions. The path to the top is always through revenue and I’m hopeful more women will chart a career with that in mind.
What was your most formative experience at Union?
I did my term abroad in Sevilla, Spain, and it was the single greatest experience of my life. As I look back on it, I needed to exit a super-sheltered life and to experience another culture and immerse myself in it. To be on a completely different continent than my entire support system, before FaceTime and all the rest of it, was challenging, exhilarating and an incredible decision that has had a tremendous affect in shaping who I am today. I also was a part of the formation of Potter House at Union with the single greatest group of people I’ve ever known. We remain close more than 15 years later, and I’m forever grateful that Union brought us together.