Beyond Tuck: Dartmouth Athletics and Fanis Tigkas

Guest Student Contributor, June 04, 2014 | 0 comments
Tags: community, Hanover NH, Upper Valley, Social and Extracurricular, Clubs and Activities, Dartmouth, New England

About the Series: Tuck offers students a diverse and unique experience, both in and outside of the classroom. While people may consider Hanover, New Hampshire a small town with limited opportunities to pursue one's interest, Tuck’s close relationship with the rest of the Dartmouth community and Upper Valley actually enables opportunities that may not be available elsewhere. One such example is through intercollegiate athletics where a number of Tuckies are currently participating as players and coaches in sports such as rowing, baseball, water polo, and softball. Fanis, Felix, and Carolyn share their perspective including lessons in time management, leadership, and community.

Fanis and Water Polo at Dartmouth

Fanis Tigkas T'15, grew up in Athens, Greece and worked in the shipping industry after graduating from the University of Piraeus with a finance degree. Over the summer, he will be working in the industrials group within Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s investment banking division. He was named New England All-Conference First Team for men’s water polo in the fall as a player and led the women’s water polo team to a conference championship and Nationals in the spring as a coach.

How and why did you get involved with athletics while at Tuck?

Water polo has been a big part of my life – I started in elementary school and have played ever since including stints as a player for a professional club in Greece. By chance, while chatting with a classmate during Tuck orientation, I learned that Dartmouth had a water polo team. I found their contact and called the coach to join the team. After a great season with the men’s team (New England champions and 4th in the National tournament), I was asked by the women’s team to become their coach. It appealed to me since I love the sport and had never coached before. Also, as I learned in Tuck’s classes and through my study group experience, mentoring and coaching are activities that I am passionate about and this gave me the opportunity to practice those skills.

How has this affected your Tuck experience?

Being involved in athletics has allowed me to be more plugged in with the broader Dartmouth community and meet people from various schools and programs. It has also allowed me to develop a new interest in coaching, and I’ve used the opportunity to practice and elicit feedback on my leadership abilities. I enjoyed the experience very much and didn’t mind at all the extra hours needed - the only drawback was having less time to get everything done, especially during busy class and recruiting periods at Tuck. It also meant I had to walk to the pool when my brain and heart strongly advised against it (like snowstorms and temperatures of negative 20 F) but sometimes it was good to just take a break from work and get outside.

What is it about Tuck that’s enabled the experience?

The supportive environment within Tuck has definitely been the biggest factor. We are all fortunate to have classmates that are really supportive in whatever each of us does. Whether that is devoting time to recruiting, coaching a team or simply class work, everyone here is bound to help any way they can. This is particularly underlined in the context of study groups: priorities and time commitments are respected and people are happy to cooperate and be flexible in order to help everyone keep up with his or her interests.

What was your favorite part of the of first-year experience?

I greatly enjoyed getting to know the men and women water polo teams and winning both championships! Also, from the perspective of an international student, it was very important to come here in the fall and see how committed and engaged the entire Tuck community was to helping each other and how much time and effort everyone dedicated to making the school better. Lastly, I was impressed by how welcoming everyone here was and how soon and easily I felt at home in Hanover – a place really different from Greece.

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