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Superior Students: Nate Engel

Posted on Jul 17, 2013
In this interview, student Nate Engel explains how he's been able to unleash his Superior Side at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
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Superior Students: Nate Engel

© 2012 Jed Carlson

Name: Nate Engel

Year in school: Junior

Major: Business management

Hometown: Maple Grove, MN

Activities: Men's Yellowjacket soccer: team co-captain, 2012 all-conference first team, 2012 all-state second team; Wisconsin in Scotland study abroad program

How did you find out about UW-Superior?

I was recruited to play soccer. At the time, I said thanks, but I'm going somewhere else. It sounds kind of silly now, but I went to college where my best friend was going. Before Ben [Yellowjackets soccer coach Ben Mooney] contacted me, I didn't even know there was a university in Superior. But I wound up transferring here after my sophomore year.

What tipped the balance for you?

Being able to play soccer was huge for me. Soccer was my number one priority; I've been playing since I was 4 or 5. My main reason for coming here was to play sports. But I found out there's a lot more that's great here. When I got here, it was everything I dreamed about.

'Everything you dreamed about?' What do you mean?

I transferred from a bigger school, where some of the class sizes were enormous, maybe 250 people. Here, having teachers know you by name, they spend time individually with you, rather than just coming to a class and preaching to 250 kids. Here you can get your individual questions answered. I think it's easier to learn when you have a more friendly classroom, when the professors know you on a personal level. Not a lot of universities can say most of their class sizes are 25 or fewer.

How is it juggling varsity sports and your classes?

Fall semester is really busy with soccer. With classes, practice, travel, games, it's time-consuming. Any time we have on the bus coming home, we spend studying. But the business faculty, all the faculty really, are good about working with you. They're good about getting back to you quickly, answering your email and questions.

How did you discover your Superior Side?

My first few years of college, I was probably more introverted and kept to myself. Since coming to Superior, I feel like I have become a more outgoing person, not the person to hang back and be shy but the person who speaks up. Before I came here, public speaking was my number one fear. I absolutely hated it. Coming here, I conquered it.

How did that happen?

Being in smaller classes and presenting in front of them, I knew everybody and knew they weren't going to be critical. After presenting in a lot of classes, now I'm pretty comfortable speaking in front of groups.

Why did you choose to do a Wisconsin in Scotland semester?

I heard a bunch of good things about the Scotland program. It wound up being the 3 1/2 best months of my life.

What made it so great?

We went to classes in a castle near Edinburgh and at least 20 kids from this university, including five close friends, came along. It made that experience so much better. Getting to have dinner with a Scottish family was pretty cool. I made more friends and got to know some of the faculty a lot better.

Classes were Monday through Thursday. That left the weekends open to do what we wanted -- travel, see sights in Europe. We actually went to some soccer matches. It's amazing to be playing soccer all your life, following the European teams, and then be able to see them in person.

Any advice to incoming students?

Don't second-guess yourself. Just go with it.

How's your friend doing at that other school?

You know what? He's here now too.

News Contact: Tom Wilkowske | twilkows{atuws}
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