Happy to be here
After doing 5 years of undergraduate studies at Villanova, many people were surprised I wanted apply to the Victory program and go back to school for yet another year. But it was something I just knew I couldn’t pass up, more or less a gut feeling that I should and needed to take advantage of this opportunity. Thankfully, I am pleased to say my decision was 100% the right one.
So why did I even want to come here and why am I happy I did? Well if I go into too much detail, we may be here for hours, so I will try to sum it all up.
First of all, I wanted to come here because I wanted the chance to really make a difference and Trinity’s outreach program has allowed for me to do that. The kids I get to coach are really a great group and to see their transformation over the year has been unbelievable. I can just tell how excited they are when they come racing into the Trinity gym, all wound up from getting to leave class, throwing their coats down as fast as possible so they can chase after the free balls and start playing — and from that, I know that this is a highlight of their day and luckily, I get to be a part of it.
Secondly, I wanted to come here to gain further education into the world of business and the Master’s program at Trinity is pretty much exactly what I had hoped for. The courses have helped me see business through a new lens, previously only understanding it from a theory or financial standpoint, to now thinking in strategical ways and from a managerial perspective. My classes encourage this shift in thought process, while the group assignments, which we have for every class, offer the opportunity to put what we learn into practice. Basketball is a team sport, but writing a group strategy report, with international students that all have different writing styles, research methods, and languages background— well that is a real team effort.
And lastly, I wanted to continue doing the thing I love most, playing basketball, and playing here with Trinity and the Meteors has allowed me to play in a totally different environment. Simply playing in a different country, the atmosphere of the game is different than it is as home; the style of play, the teammates, the coaches and of course, the referees, are all so different. Although the change can be challenging at times (like the fact that I get called for a walk at LEAST once a game), I feel like I have grown in my understanding of the game as well as understanding of being a better teammate and player. Even if I hang up the shoes after this season, I am grateful for this extra year to play the game that I love.
The Victory Scholar Program is unique because it pushes you not just in school or community engagement, but in all aspects of your life. If it was simply volunteering, there are plenty of programs to do a year of volunteering abroad, or if it was only the Master’s program, then there are tons of opportunities to study for a year, and same with playing professionally. But being a Victory Scholar is not just one of these areas, it is all of them. I remember thinking I wanted to join this program so that I could make a difference and meet people who would make a difference in my life — and if there is a final takeaway from why this program is so special, it’s the relationships it fosters throughout the year. From my teammates and coaches, classmates, the Scholars, and kids, I have built some truly special friendships that have shaped this experience.
Victory Scholar: Emily Leer
Present University: Trinity College Dublin
US League Partner: Big 5
Club/Community Partner: Meteors Ladies Basketball
Alma Mater: Villanova University
Sponsored by: Teamwear Ireland