Undergraduate Blog

How to Survive the Integrated Core Experience, by the Student-Athletes Who Did It

Being a student-athlete takes discipline. Being a student-athlete while completing McIntire’s intense Integrated Core Experience also takes fearlessness, resolve, and some precise planning.

Erica Susi

Erica Susi

This Centennial Year, we honor our past, present, and future. This article was originally published Oct. 22, 2018. Brendan Casey is an Analyst at Altus Group; Ryan Conrad is an Analyst at KKR & Co. Inc.; Daniel Barir Jensen is a Business Development & Strategic Sports Project Manager at B.93; Aswin Lizen is an Investment Banking Analyst at Fidus Partners; Johnny Pace is a Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture Federal Services; Erica Susi is an Associate Marketing Analyst at Mastercard; and Kylie Towbin is an Equity Research Associate at Bloomberg LP.

Being a student-athlete takes discipline. Being a student-athlete while completing McIntire’s intense Integrated Core Experience also takes fearlessness, resolve, and some precise planning.

McIntire’s hallmark program is legendary for developing third-year students’ technical, analytical, strategic-thinking, and behavioral skills—all while providing real-world experience. Students put in long hours with their groups to create innovative solutions and insightful, actionable ideas for Integrated Core Experience corporate partners. But what about practice? Meets and games out of town? Sleep?

As the School celebrates 20 successful years of the Integrated Core Experience, we spoke with fourth-year Comm School athletes to get some tips on how they managed to meet and surpass the exacting high standards of the program last year—without sacrificing performance excellence in their sports of choice.

1. Wake up early. “My practices were always in the afternoon, so one tactic I used to keep up with the readings was to wake up early and do some of them just before class. It turned into a pretty easy habit once I got started, and the material was always fresh in my mind for class.” —Aswin Lizen (McIntire ’19), Men’s Tennis

2. Pick the right block. “I scheduled my Integrated Core Experience block in the afternoon so it would not interfere with our main practices, and I also scheduled electives on non-workout days. I ended up never having to miss a practice!” —Johnny Pace (McIntire ’19), Men’s Cross Country/Track

3. Keep the communication lines open. “I always made sure to check the syllabus ahead of time in order to detect any conflicts between the Integrated Core Experience and athletic commitments and to make sure I was prepared for upcoming busy weeks. I made sure to constantly communicate with my all of my professors and also with my Integrated Core Experience group. They proved to be extremely understanding and willing to help me work around these conflicts when I was respectful and approached them with enough time.” —Daniel Barir (McIntire ’19), Men’s Soccer

4. Stick to a schedule. “I use my agenda to prioritize which assignments I need to get done first. I budget only a certain amount of time for each assignment.” —Erica Susi (McIntire ’19), Women’s Tennis

5. Be flexible. “There is a lot of group work in the Integrated Core Experience, so a lot of it came down to scheduling time to meet with my group mates. Luckily, I had a great group that was very accommodating and always worked with me to find times to get together.” —Brendan Casey (McIntire ’19), Men’s Swimming

6. Use Fridays wisely. “At McIntire, classes run typically from Monday through Thursday, and having the full Friday to check off items due for the next week always helped lighten my individual workload. It was important for me to plan out this day carefully, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed, in order to stay focused on my goals throughout day.” —Kylie Towbin (McIntire ’19), Women’s Diving

7. Master time management. “Time management is an important quality for athletes. I have always had a lot on my plate, playing three sports all throughout my life, so I was able to develop this skill early on. The biggest thing I like to stress to people is getting things done before they are due, so you can get ahead of your work. This helps a lot with reducing stress and leaves room in case something else gets thrown on your plate last minute. We also have great academic resources that help athletes with studying tips and keep us on track to make sure we are getting all our work done on time.” —Ryan Conrad (McIntire ’19), Men’s Lacrosse

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