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Jan. 27, 2010
The challenging and thrilling life of the student-athlete is not one that should go unnoticed. The values and dedication that Division I athletics incorporates into a person's life are priceless. In an interview with (a former NC State tennis player from 2000-2004), I realized that this is true.
Jennifer, who majored in biomedical engineering, was the 2003 K.O. Award Recipient and also the 2003-2004 Student Athlete Advisory Committee President. During her time at NC State as a student-athlete, Jassawalla said she acquired several key skills and characteristics such as time management, discipline, and effective leadership. She also attended the annual NCAA Leadership Conference – at the time held in Orlando, Fla. – where she had a memorable experience. Surrounded by peers from all over the ACC, she was able to socialize and gain valuable knowledge.
Jassawalla is the definition of success. After graduating from NC State, Jennifer went on to graduate school in New York at Columbia University.
She also began her first job in July 2005 in New Jersey working at Stryker as a product engineer where she stayed for two years. There she designed and developed custom implants and artificial organ/bone replacements using cat-scans and other technologies to design matches for patients. After finishing graduate school in May 2009, Jennifer had earned a masters degree in mechanical engineering. She now lives and works in San Diego, Calif. developing medical devices for spine disorders like scoliosis.
When asked how participating in Division I athletics affected her life, Jassawalla responded that it gave her life experience. You become a well-rounded individual because you go through so many things like winning & losing, dealing with coaches, being part of a team, and more. In five words or less, she described her experience as, “Self-discovery.” You are on a journey figuring yourself out and building relationships. Her closing remarks were, “It was one of the best times of my life, no doubt!”
I think it's safe to say that being a student-athlete in the ACC and having involvement in such a grand organization is one of the first steps on the stairways to success.