Athletic training major follows her passion to America to realize her dream

April 16, 2018

Laura Nicholas plays soccer.

Laura Nicholas ’18 knew she wanted to become an athletic trainer — but recognized she wouldn’t be able to realize her dream in her native Ireland. When she came across Quinnipiac’s competitive program — combined with its leading Division I soccer program — she quickly knew it was where she wanted to be.

“It was very challenging to leave my family behind at the age of 18 to live thousands of miles away for months at a time,” said Nicholas, who added athletic training isn’t a career option in Ireland. “I had never been to the U.S. before coming to Quinnipiac for my first semester. As I enter my final semester, I look back with relief in the fact that I took that leap of faith.”

The university’s athletic training/sports medicine degree combines her interests of sports, biology and health care, she said.

“It allows me to continue to stay involved with sports even if it is on the other side of the white line,” she said. “There is a great sense of community in the program and that is something that I grew to really appreciate as I’ve met genuinely good, kind people that understand the demands that the profession entails and who have been so supportive of my career goals — even as they have evolved over my time here.”

BS in Athletic Training

“The athletic training/sports medicine program has taught me so much more than just the things I’ve read in books,” Nicholas said. “The engaging learning environment, the passionate professors and hands-on experience I’ve enjoyed here over the years has prepared me for a successful career.”

The classes were purposefully designed to maximize learning, she said.
“The classes are small, everyone is there to learn and there are no time-wasters,” Nicholas said. “The professors challenge your thinking in addition to teaching you — and so the overall vibe is great. Everyone participates, which makes learning more fulfilling.”

Her successes excel well beyond the classroom — and into our new soccer and lacrosse stadium.

As a four-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team, she has been recognized throughout her Quinnipiac women’s soccer career for her strong academics along with earning a starting position on the team.

“Over the summer, I completed an internship with the Washington Spirit, a women’s professional soccer team in Maryland,” she said. “They play at the top level in the United States and have had several national team players on their roster.”

The experience inspired her to work harder at Quinnipiac.

“I am so grateful to the athletic training/sports medicine program for helping me get that opportunity,” she said. “Having played soccer my whole life and here at Quinnipiac, I have a great passion for the game.”

Her experiences at Quinnipiac and her internship have given her the opportunity to better understand what it takes to excel as a player as well as a trainer.

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