Dec 01, 2017
In our new Alumna Spotlight series, we catch up with former Sweet Briar College athletes on what they've been up to since graduation and how Sweet Briar prepared them for that transition. In today's feature, we talk with Sam Schwartz, Class of 2013.
What year did you graduate from Sweet Briar?
Which sport(s) did you play while at Sweet Briar?
What have you been doing since you graduated?
After graduation, I moved to Nags Head, NC (OBX) and worked in action sports and tourism for two years before returning to SBC to get a second degree. During my time in OBX, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to become a paragliding pilot as well as interact and work with people from all over the world. Since coming back to SBC, I have taken advantage of the opportunity to help coach lacrosse. This spring will be my third season as a volunteer assistant coach, and I absolutely love doing it! Along with finishing my Engineering Degree, I am working at BWX Technologies as a Nuclear Process Engineering Co-op. I will again be done with my degree in May and will be moving back to North Carolina to be a Mechanical Engineer at the Naval Air Systems Command at MCAS Cherry Point.
What parts of being a college athlete best prepared you for life after college?
The most helpful thing about being a college athlete was learning how to be a positive leader and effectively manage my time. We were a close team, brought together by the sport we loved and on the field we learned never to quit, we learned about being part of a team, sometimes providing leadership and sometimes being a team member, we learned about self-motivation and how good it feels to support others and help them grow and achieve their goals. All of these things are directly applicable to life after college.
How did Sweet Briar specifically prepare you for life after college?
Sweet Briar gave me the confidence to go after my dreams and fight for what I want. My confidence became especially important with my career switch to engineering. I went from a work environment of mostly women to a work environment where I am one out of three women in a unit of approximately 20 people. I can be confident enough in my education and abilities to not shy away from challenges. It has also helped me pursue two very large dreams of mine: the first being able to live at the beach and the second to work with aircraft. In my new job, I will have both of these things at the same time, thanks to my education and people that I have met and have taught me at Sweet Briar.
What advice would you give to high school recruits?
The best advice that was given to me as a high school recruit is to pick a school for its academics and not solely for athletics. Sports helped mold me into the person that I am, and I am thankful for that, but my education is opening up doors that fulfill dreams and create a rewarding life. Injuries can happen, but your education is going to be very important and help guide you through the rest of your life. I was lucky enough to find a school with excellent academics that also allowed me to continue playing lacrosse.