The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Tufts' Casey Santos-Ocampo, a baseball player who was born in the Philippines and dreams of a job in Major League Baseball.
Casey Santos-Ocampo, Tufts University
Naples, Fla./Barron G. Collier High School
Why did you choose to attend Tufts?
Tufts was a pretty easy choice out of the Division III schools I looked at. The reason for that was the success Tufts has had on the baseball field combined with a top-notch education. The key separators for Tufts, in my opinion, were the culture of the baseball team and the fact that Coach Casey knows how to win and develop players on and off the field. That was the type of culture I wanted to be part of.
What is your dream job/career? Why?
I would love to be a General Manager for a Major League Baseball team or have a job in sales. Any type of job that can replicate the competitive nature of winning and losing in sports is something I am interested in.
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
I was in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program for more than two years. I have also served as the Vice President of Recruitment for Delta Upsilon and am currently involved with SAAC and Team Impact.
If you participate in any service activities, what are they and how did you get involved?
Team Impact is extremely important to me. My sophomore year, our team learned we would be drafting a kid named Cooper onto our team. I was lucky to be part of a group of 8-10 team members that would facilitate interactions between our team and Cooper and his family. It has been one of the best experiences I have had, just being able to give back and put a smile on his face.
What has been the greatest part of your college experience so far?
Being on the baseball team has been the best part of my experience, hands down. Experiencing the many ups and downs, and doing it all with my brothers on the team: early morning practices and lifts, conditioning, travel, winning two conference championships, and everything that happens off the field.
What are three top things on your bucket list?
1. Win a National Championship
2. Visit all Seven Wonders of the World
3. Skydive or cage dive with great white sharks
What has been your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
My favorite class outside of my major would be any entrepreneurship course. The department chair, Jack Derby, does an incredible job of making sure these classes prepare you for life after graduation. From creating a company and developing business models, to pitching ideas to businessmen, to working as a sales or marketing consultant for a real-world business, these courses definitely prepare students for the working world.
What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
I have served internships at a bank and at a technology company specializing in storage, networking, and computing. The best thing about being able to intern is you get to realize what you are passionate about and what you are not. Even if you realize that you don't like your particular position, you still have to find a way to give everything you have to the company and also learn as much as you can on the job.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
I would tell myself that, though it might be hard to understand now, don't take any practice, game, or lift for granted. Time flies and if you aren't pushing yourself to get better in practice and in workouts, you are wasting time.
Who has been the most influential person on you during your time in college so far? Why?
I mentioned my teammates earlier, and they have been influential, but I'll give this one to Coach Casey. He makes it a point to make the program about much more than just baseball. The life lessons he teaches are invaluable and everyone matures during their time with the program. He is about tough love and he wants the best out of each guy on the team.
What is something interesting about you that others might not know?
Most of my friends already know that my real name is Juan Carlos, but may not know I was born in Manila, Philippines.