DAVIS, Calif. — While many students see the summer break period as a time to sit back and relax, this was not the case with men's tennis sophomore Chethan Swanson, who spent 12 of his nearly 15 weeks of summer in an internship position with River City Bank in Sacramento, Calif.
Not only did Swanson put the time needed into his career, but he put in the time on the tennis court as well to maintain the level of play required for Division 1 athletics. After a solid freshman season, Swanson competed in five men's open tournaments throughout the summer, and won the singles title in two. After stringing together six consecutive wins to take the Men's Open singles title at the Johnson Ranch Round Up tournament in Sacramento in late July, Swanson also made a deep semifinal run in the Men's Doubles draw, falling to the eventual champion.
A year after sitting down with the UC Davis Magazine for a "Meet the Freshmen" feature, Swanson remains on course to fulfill what he set out to do at UC Davis: play competitive tennis at one of the highest levels and receive an economics degree from the fifth-ranked public institution in the country, all while setting himself up for the best possible career path through the Aggie EVO System. Swanson entered UC Davis the same year as the Aggie EVO System began, and will represent the first class to graduate from the program.
A California resident out of nearby Folsom, Swanson outlined his thoughts and experiences below, and gave his own advice to fellow student-athletes, which rings true to the purpose of the Aggie EVO System: "I encourage all student-athletes to start exploring careers now and get experience with companies over summer if they can — it's never too early to start."
UC Davis men's tennis will follow up one of their busiest fall seasons in the history of the program with an even busier spring dual schedule. The Aggies will see action in over 27 dual matches, including six double headers and 17 home matches, starting with a doubleheader at home against Pacific (8:30 AM) and Fresno State (3:30 PM) on January 12, 2019.
Q: Walk me briefly through what your job/internship entails – e.g. a typical day at work.
CS: River City Bank is Sacramento's largest premier bank. My internship with them at their corporate office in Natomas was split up into two 6 week segments. My first 6 week segment was with the credit analysis team. With the credit team, I got to see first hand what processes and discussions that take place when discussing whether or not to loan a company money. I sat in during meetings, imported financial statements into RCB's system, and even helped out on a major portfolio with a major client. The next 6 weeks I was in the internal audit department where I saw myself performing tasks that ensure the bank is following procedure. I traveled to almost every RCB branch in the Sacramento area to do audits and testing to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of your job? Challenging?
CS: The most rewarding part of my internship was feeling like I was part of something big. The work I was doing was contributing to RCB which in turn helps the bank's clients. It was refreshing to know that the work I was doing on a day to day basis actually helps not just my supervisors or coworkers who assigned me the work, but clients of the bank as well. The most challenging part of the job was making sure I paid attention to minor details, but I think I did very well in that regard by taking my work slow and with care, before trying to work faster.
Q: How has your experience as a student-athlete helped you with this job?
CS: Being a student-athlete has helped me be a student intern because I know how to better balance life's priorities because of it. Every day this summer, I went to work, played tennis afterwards, worked on community college coursework, then spent time with family and friends after that. Although many days I felt exhausted at the end of the day, I felt comfortable balancing everything in my life during summer because it is similar to what I do on a daily basis at UCD.
Q: How has the Aggie EVO student-athlete outcomes program prepared you for the workplace?
CS: The Aggie EVO program has done a great job of inspiring me to be the best student-athlete I can be by reminding me that my sport is not the only thing that defines me as a student. Just because I commit a large part of my day to tennis does not mean that I have to be at a disadvantage in the work force when I graduate. The faculty in the Aggie EVO program have helped me remind myself that although I am a student-athlete, I can make the same strides towards a career that my peers are making.
Q: What are your long-term career plans? What has inspired or drawn you to that career?
CS: My long-term career plans are to first land a job in the business/finance realm after graduation before eventually pursing a Master's in Business to further my career. There are many branches of business/finance that I could work towards, so getting internship experience over summer is crucial for me to figure out what I want to do in life. I credit my high school Economics teachers with introducing Econ to me in a positive way, and my interest in business/finance took off from there. I encourage all student-athletes to start exploring careers now and get experience with companies over summer if they can — it's never too early to start.
ABOUT UC DAVIS
Providing a small-town community feel while providing a world-class academic experience, UC Davis is home to more than 37,000 students and centrally located between San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and the Napa Valley. The No. 5-ranked public university in the nation, according to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, offers nearly 100 graduate programs and more than 100 academic majors across four colleges and six professional schools, ranking among the world and nation's best in numerous disciplines, including veterinary science, agriculture, and plant and animal programs.
Established during the 2017-18 academic year, the Aggie EVO System is UC Davis Athletics' investment in the primary mission of preparing student-athletes for a successful "launch" after graduation. Thanks to a collaboration of alumni, university resources, corporate partners, coaches and Student-Athlete Outcomes staff, all Aggies are guided over four years to acquire the skills, knowledge, opportunities and tools to better know and navigate the "World of Work" after graduating from UC Davis. Follow the Aggie EVO system on Twitter and Instagram at @AggieEVO.