It isn’t a resume portfolio and business suit that Conor Pollock ’09, finance major at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, is counting on to prepare for life after college. All he needs is a tennis racquet. While his classmates are visiting Northgate for the last time as students and traveling from city to city for job interviews, Pollock stays loyal to his demanding workout schedule, preparing to graduate, end the 2009 season with the Aggie tennis team and embark on a solo professional career.
Pollock plans to base his operations out of College Station, Florida, or Phoenix, when his pro tournaments begin, and will use his business background to manage his own career. “Being my own boss is going to be interesting. Not only will I be playing tennis, but I’ll be handling my finances and getting sponsorships, so the knowledge I gained in my undergraduate education will definitely help with that,” he said.
Pollock played several sports as a child, but quickly decided that his natural talent for tennis would take him farthest. Pollock played on his high school team in San Antonio, Texas, for two years. Then he made the decision to finish high school through Texas Tech University’s distance learning program in order to speed up his entrance to college level competition. Pollock visited a few schools other than Texas A&M University during the recruiting process, but for him, nothing compared to his experience in Aggieland. He joined the tennis team, quickly developing bonds with both the coaching staff and his teammates.
Growing accustomed to the rigorous schedule of a college athlete wasn’t easy. “It was a balancing act having to take four or five classes and maintain my tennis workouts,” he explained. “Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like without all of these obligations, but in the end, I feel like I have a purpose in my life and that’s important to me.”
When it comes to entering the pro tennis circuit, Pollock is ready to take on the challenge. Though he has already won several pro-level tournaments, Pollock knows that the competition will be tough. He is the only member of his team entering the pros this year. “Tennis is such a global sport now that there are many great players from every country around the world. I have to work that much harder,” he said.
Pollock is excited to begin this new chapter in his life, but wants to enjoy what’s left of his time at Texas A&M. “The thought of graduation hasn’t hit me quite yet. I just want to enjoy these last few weeks of time with my team and coaches. We still have work to do before the season is over,” he said. Before graduation, Pollock, who is ranked 17th in the nation in singles play, is preparing to take on the nation’s top teams in the NCAA Tournament, held at Texas A&M May 14-25. Pollock will play singles and doubles events in the competition.
One of the things Pollock will miss most about his college years is the camaraderie developed among members of his team. This was a great contributor to his success as well as the support he received from the coaching staff. He advises younger teammates to stay focused, but have fun and enjoy their college years. “The studying and classes are rough sometimes, but the experience of being a student athlete makes the challenges worthwhile”