Sports and stocks

PLA scholar weighs options for the future

Sports and Stocks

Financial adviser or pro rugby player?

Most students won’t face the “What should I be when I grow up?” question with two such different career paths in mind. But for Mitch Sora, both options seem equally appealing.

Both seem quite possible for the 20-year-old BGSU junior, too.

Sora is president of the BGSU Men’s Rugby Club. In addition to attending games and practices, Sora’s off-field duties include budgeting and fundraising for the team. He’s happy to do it because he loves the sport, and dreams of playing rugby professionally for his home country, Canada, after college. This summer, he’s interning with Rugby Canada, the country’s national rugby organization, as national programs assistant in Victoria, B.C.

“I fell in love with the game when I was about 15 years old,” Sora said. “I had no idea what the camaraderie of a team like this could be like… I hadn’t seen it in other sports. It was just a feeling like everyone was family.”

Beyond rugby, Sora also sees himself possibly going into investments and becoming a financial adviser. He is majoring in business economics and minoring in entrepreneurship and plans to graduate in May 2016.

“Playing rugby for Canada can mean being in a different country every weekend,” Sora said. “It’s a huge commitment.”

If he doesn’t return to Canada to play rugby, Sora sees himself pursuing a master’s degree in economics, or possibly entering the workforce immediately after graduation, if the right job opportunity arises.

“I think it’s all going to be about timing,” he said.

For now, Sora is enjoying being an undergrad at BGSU. As a Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy Program (PLA) scholar, he said he has had incredible opportunities to contribute on campus.

He has served as an orientation leader and an Opening Weekend group leader for the university, helping to usher in new flocks of freshmen Falcons.

Sora said making BGSU a welcoming environment is crucial for new students who are making the big transition to college life.

“Through the President’s Leadership Academy, we went through a summer program that kind of simulated for us what the college experience might be like, and it was incredibly helpful,” Sora said. “Even the best students might come in to college still needing help with, say, study habits. Or maybe they’ve just never spent much time away from home before. I think it’s important for any student to receive some guidance to help them through it.”

The act of becoming a leader that incoming students — and fellow orientation leaders — can count on has also led to considerable growth within Sora himself, he said.

“It’s hard to say how others see you, but a quality I think others see in me is that I am very welcoming, I try to make people comfortable and I take interest in them,” he said. “I talk to them. I speak my mind when I need to and I think people have come to respect my opinion.”

The Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy Program (PLA), a four-year leadership development program, is steeped in the theory of servant-leadership, a practical philosophy that supports people who choose to serve first, and then to lead as a way of expanding service to individuals and institutions. The PLA enrolls approximately 15-30 new students annually, resulting in a total of 100-120 students matriculating per year. Awardees receive a renewable scholarship up to the cost of in-state instructional (tuition) and general fees. Please visit bgsu.edu/give to make a gift to this program.