Students in Training
Future accountants competitive in athletics and scholastics
by Lori Simpson
Balancing academics with sports isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, according to two accountancy majors attending college thanks, in part, to athletics scholarships.
Justin Gunn and Matthias Wellermann are among dozens of Ole Miss students who are successfully meeting academic requirements while practicing and competing in their individual sports.
Gunn, a 20-year-old junior from Oklahoma City, is a third-year member of the Ole Miss track team, while Wellermann, a 22-year-old junior originally from Germany, is on the tennis team.
The students agree that their respective sports take up a lot of time that could be devoted to studying, but they are able to manage their time and succeed in both.
“I try hard to be on top of the schedule so I do not fall behind,” said Wellermann, who is taking two accounting classes this semester. “I miss about every second Friday at school. We travel a lot, so I try to do a lot of reading on the bus or the plane.”
Gunn said he usually takes 12 to 15 hours a semester including 3 to 6 hours of accounting classes. He said he works hard to keep up with work for his classes.
“I just have to buckle down and either get it done early or while I am on the trip so I can turn it in when I get back,” said Gunn, who competes in several different events and has won two national championships in the long jump.
Both students spend much of the spring season practicing for upcoming meets. Wellermann practices every afternoon for three hours.
“Usually, I go to class in the morning, practice from 2 until 5:30 [p.m.] and then start studying around 7 [p.m.],” he said. “If practice was hard, it is tough to motivate myself to do homework because I am so tired.”
Gunn said that during the spring semester, it is not uncommon for him to miss class every Friday and occasionally on Thursdays. He practices six days a week, so he has to manage his time wisely to keep up with his accountancy classes.
“Accounting is a very hard subject,” he said. “But I believe that life is hard, and, in order for me to get the best out of it, I need not shy away from challenges.”
Both athletes say they hope to continue playing their respective sports after they finish college.
“I will definitely continue to play tennis, though not as much as I have played here,” Wellermann said. “I have been injured a lot, so I think it is a little too risky for me to try to play professional tennis.”
Gunn plans to continue running for as long as he is physically able. “With track, I could get an accounting job and still run professionally,” he said.
Lori Simpson is a student intern in the Office of Media and Public Relations.