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Bryan Plesner ’19 could’ve been a runner. Or a baseball player. Or a bowling or soccer star. But when it came down to it, none of those sports felt like the right fit. When he hit the pool, however, he felt right at home.

“I did so many other sports besides swimming, but swimming was the one that stuck,” Bryan said. “I liked it being an individual sport, and I liked seeing my time on the board. I now have such a deep love for the sport.”

In fact, Bryan is so passionate about swimming that he dreams of eventually becoming a coach once he’s retired. But first, the actuarial science graduate is pursuing jobs as a statistical analyst or actuary — or “any job that involves math.” His experience on the swim team, including his relationships with coaches, has taught him skills that are now guiding him on his career path.

“Rob Brownell, head coach of the swimming and diving team, guided me through a bunch of challenges,” Bryan said. “He helped me with my confidence in races. Last year, he helped build me up. I also had a leadership position on the team starting my sophomore year. It helped me grow up a lot and get out of my comfort zone.”

Beyond the Pool

Bryan has also benefited from academic and outreach opportunities at Olivet, including immersive experiences outside the classroom.

“Last year, for a service learning course, I volunteered at Olivet Middle School and assisted math teachers with a lower-skill level group of fourth graders,” Bryan said. “It taught me that I have the patience to deal with kids, and I like working with them a lot. Being able to see the kids improve on something I taught them and seeing them get better and better made my semester last year.”

Bryan says experiences like this have helped break him out of his shell. He also points to experiences inside the classroom that have helped shaped him over his college career.

“It’s very easy to talk to your professors, and there are smaller classes, which makes it easier to learn here,” Bryan said.

And last but certainly not least, Bryan cherishes the fact that Olivet gave him the opportunity to swim past high school.

To learn more about Olivet College, contact the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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