Marcus Santos ‘23, is building upon his associate’s degree in exercise science by earning his bachelor’s in strength and conditioning. At VCSU, he has taken his interest in biomechanics and kinesiology and put that to work in his practical experience as a student assistant both in and out of the classroom.
Major: Strength and conditioning
Hometown: Salvador, Brazil
What year are you at VCSU and when will you graduate?
I’m a senior and will graduate in May 2023.
What are your career goals or where do you see yourself after graduation?
I plan to enroll in an Optional Practical Training (OPT) to get experience in my field for 6 months to a year and start graduate school after. It may be here in North Dakota or in another state. I would prefer warmer weather than here.
What attracted you to VCSU?
What attracted me to VCSU was the low cost, sense of community inside the school, the wellness center, and the rental of the MacBook included in the tuition.
Why did you choose your specific major?
I always loved practicing sports, especially playing soccer, and when I started weightlifting at 15 years old, I fell in love with it, spending a lot of my free time studying about it on the internet to get better results. I took it as a hobby for years but when the opportunity to come to the United States appeared I decided to enroll in the field I really loved because I felt I could do great things working in it. So I started with an exercise science major at my junior college but once I transferred to VCSU, after getting my associate degree, I chose strength & conditioning because I wanted to work with athletes and put what I learned into practice, especially biomechanics and kinesiology.
Which activities, groups, or jobs are you involved in on campus?
For work I’m part of the student crew at the student center and I’m doing two field experiences, student assistant to the VCSU men’s basketball team and student assistant in the HPER 309 – Sports Nutrition class with Dr. Rachelle Hunt, associate professor of kinesiology and human performance. For activities, I play intramural volleyball every Wednesday at the wellness center, I participate in Chi Alpha meetings and I’m the international student representative for VCSU Student Senate.
Any advice for students thinking about transferring to VCSU?
I would advise they make connections with people, whether it be professors, classmates, or anyone in the community. These people will make the stay here better because they can’t not only help you with whatever you need but some of these relationships will be carried forever. Also, I would say to engage in the school’s activities. I know it’s comfortable to stay in your room doing your own thing but there are events, clubs and activities on campus to participate in and I believe you will probably regret not having explored what the school has to offer.