Interview: Melanie Santos C’16

The four-year soccer starter on life as a student-athlete, interning for a law firm, completing a semester on Wall Street and studying in Italy. (And—oh, yeah—winning a conference championship.)

What led you to Drew and the women’s soccer team?
I was playing soccer at a showcase and a Drew assistant coach asked if I was interested in visiting campus. Four years later, the best parts of that decision are the family I’ve made here and the experiences I’ve had.

Your penalty kick won the shootout in the 2013 Landmark Conference Championship game.
I have a ring to make sure I never forget. There are times where I feel like a retired athlete and I tear up, but I always come back to the fact that we won that championship. I remember every moment of the game. There are also times where I’m watching penalty kicks in a professional game, and no matter what, I have to sit there and watch. It always brings me back.

You’re a Presidential Scholar and three-time Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll selection. Were academics always important to you?

I can blame my parents for that one. Throughout club, travel and high school soccer, I was only allowed to play if I had good grades. I tried hard in school, and I found out that I loved learning new things and it came naturally to me. I love sports, but sometimes my friends forget that I’m a nerd.

Yet your academic path at Drew has been more than just lectures, homework and tests.
I was always told that the off-campus and hands-on experiences would shape your college career. I’ve done a semester on Wall Street and met executives from JPMorgan; completed an internship with a law firm; invested real money in the stock market through The Fund, Drew’s student-run investing club; and I am headed to Italy to study finance. There are so many opportunities at Drew. I feel comfortable heading out into the workforce.

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