Why I Became a Victory Scholar

Posted By: IanThom
Posted On: March 19th, 2018

What does it mean to be a Victory Scholar?  Now that is truly a loaded question.  There are so many angles to what you would think would be a very simple nine-word question.  You could take the angle that you get to keep playing the sport you love, or take the angle that you are helping and improving a community while embracing a completely new culture.  This blog will examine what it means to be a Victory Scholar according to Ian Thom the Cork Scholar. It will be difficult to truly put in words what it means but I will do my best.

The first aspect that comes right to my mind is the number of friends, people and connections you make in such a short time.  It is incredible how many people have been so welcoming, helpful and opening as they expose their to lives to a complete stranger from New York.  The friends I have made through this program will last forever and I never could have imagined coming to the country of Ireland and not only meeting so many fabulous Irish people but other Americans, French, Spanish, Polish and so many more nationalities.

The second aspect of what it means to be a Victory Scholar that resonates with me is the ability to be part of a new culture and community and to be a role model for kids in Cork that I have met.  As I wrote about in my last blog, the opportunity to coach younger kids in basketball and not only teach them skills but life lessons and values that will help them in their future is the staple of being a Victory Scholar.  Values such as hard work, resilience, integrity, passion and positivity are values that lead to a brighter future.  Being able to be someone that displays these qualities to a growing and evolving youth to me has been the greatest part of being a Victory Scholar.

Of course, then you have two tremendous qualities of the program which are furthering your education and continuing to play the sport you love.  Having the ability to receive a Masters in Marketing Practice will be a quality asset coming back to the United States.  The opportunity of working at VMware in my second semester and completing an internship there has been an incredible learning experience for me as well which I wrote about in my most recent blog before this one.  Getting a MSc in Marketing Practice and furthering my education in only one year is an unbelievable option and is only possible through being a Victory Scholar.  The second part to that is to keep playing.  I have enjoyed my time here playing.  It really is eye-opening how different the same sport in one country could be to another country.  It is still basketball but the qualities and how it is played can be very different to the American style and certainly the officiating is one hundred percent different.  The experience of playing here has been exciting and a great opportunity though.

I would never have traded this experience for anything.  Yes, it is a very tiring and busy schedule most every day, but the experiences, opportunities, and connections you make are unlike any other.  Being a Victory Scholar has been everything and more and has allowed me to further my learning, playing, coaching and most of all my ability to make connections that will last for a lifetime.

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