I began ice skating when I was four years old in Dover, and for more than half of my life I’ve been pursuing my dream of ice dancing in the Olympics. On the ice, I have learned valuable lessons about the importance of hard work and dedication, lessons that I regularly apply to my online learning and career goals. I’ve given up a lot to chase my dreams, but there’s one thing that I knew I could not sacrifice: my education. As I strive to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics, I’m also earning my Associate of Science in Business Administration from the New England College of Business and Finance (NECB), a fully online college.
Like most NECB students, I have a busy schedule. Each day, I skate for five hours before enduring an intensive, 90-minute choreography workout. For my online coursework, I use my free time during training breaks, meals, evenings and weekends to stay on track in order to meet my intended graduation date in June. While at a competition in Brasov, Romania, for Team USA, I completed a research assignment in the stairwell of an old ski resort on the top of a mountain in Transylvania! That’s one of the many reasons why I chose NECB: its flexible, online learning platform makes it easy to take my coursework with me around the world.
There’s more hard work ahead. My ice dance partner Isabella Cannuscio and I won the Senior Ice Dance gold at the Eastern Sectional Figure Skating Championships in November. The next step is the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Omaha, Nebraska. I will be reminded of how far I have come since first stepping onto the ice so many years ago in my small hometown, and I will reflect on the staggering amount of work I’ve committed to accomplish my dream. Though I hope to one day stand atop a podium as the “Star Spangled Banner” rings out, I am equally excited to complete my associate’s degree in February and continue my online business education by working toward an MBA from NECB. I’m particularly inspired by my mother, who will graduate with her online Master in Business Administration degree from NECB in June.
NECB’s unique business-oriented curriculum has helped me dream big off the ice, too. With the school’s professional guidance and counseling, I’ve realized my goal of opening my own coaching program or partnering with my father in his business ventures, and as I strive toward athletic and boardroom success, I will never forget the lesson I learned during a childhood spent on the Dover ice. Whether executing a business plan, skating routine or daily schedule of personal responsibilities, I will always remember to maintain balance.
Michael Bramante, NECB student