“Be the CHANGE you wish to see in this WORLD.” —Ghandi
I’m from Claysburg, Pennsylvania, where I attended Claysburg-Kimmel High School and graduated in 2008. There are several reasons I’ve chosen IUP to continue my education. However, I haven’t taken the same road as most students. My freshman year, I went to Florida Gulf Coast University to play softball. Although I really enjoyed my time there, it just didn’t feel like the “home” I was looking for. When I decided to transfer to a school closer to home, IUP seemed to really stand out. I wanted a school that would allow my friends and family to see me play. I also wanted a school that would provide me with the necessary foundation to ensure a quality education. IUP is one of the most academically well-recognized schools that would give me that opportunity.
The activity that I have been privileged to participate in is softball. It has always been a dream for me to play softball at the collegiate level. I have been a member of the IUP softball team since I transferred here three years ago. The value I have gained by playing softball at IUP is truly immeasurable. Most importantly, I have met some of the most amazing people that will forever hold an impact on my life.
By playing a sport at the collegiate level I have learned some of the most important life lessons. I’ve learned traits such as being a good teammate, time management, dedication, commitment, accountability, trust, perseverance, and, most importantly, that life is not infallible. Our assistant athletic director, Dr. Francis Nee, tells all of the athletes at every meeting, “Being a student athlete is a privilege, not a right.” It wasn’t until last spring that I realized how true that statement really is. I broke my arm toward the beginning of our season, which caused me to miss the entire conference schedule. When my coach announced to the team that I would miss the next four to six weeks, he also said that it would not affect our team and everything would be fine. Afterwards, he pulled me aside to apologize and say that everything he just told the team was a lie. He said it’s really going to hurt our team not to have you on the field, but if we want to continue to be successful they cannot know that. He also told me that, as a leader of our team, my teammates’ attitudes would directly reflect upon mine. I had to show up every day with the same intensity and positive attitude as if I were able to play. This was the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn, but he was exactly right. One of the greatest and sometimes toughest parts about being a member of a team is the self-sacrifice. There were many days I showed up and did not want to give my best effort, but I knew that wouldn’t make a good impact on my team.
I was cleared by the team doctor to play one day shy of four weeks and right in time to get back out on the field for the conference play-offs. Last year, my team won the first PSAC championship in school history. We also continued on to win the first regional championship in school history and continued on to make an appearance at the NFCA Women’s College World Series. Thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of my coaches and teammates, I was able to participate in IUP softball history.
The reason I chose to be a Business major is because I feel the business environment would best match my personality. I’m dedicated and extremely competitive, which is why I feel business would give me the best opportunity to excel and constantly evolve. I have learned to be independent and resilient in order to adapt to the college atmosphere. One way I have been able to do this is by meeting and interacting with my professors on a personal level who are genuinely concerned and supportive. Some of my closest friends I have met through scholarly endeavors that would have not happened had I not chosen the Eberly College of Business. I’m very thankful for my experiences, and feel exceptionally prepared to continue my education. I wish to pursue my MBA at the Eberly College of Business because of the outstanding program and well-recognized institution.
Monica is currently living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, working as a Graduate Assistant in the Athletic Administration at Barry University while pursuing a Dual Sports Management/MBA degree (as of Fall 2013).