Alice Genna: a 4.0 volleyball player

Monday, August 17, 2015

A recent degree in Psycology and her suitcase ready for yet another adventure. Alice Genna was one of the first student-athletes to use the services of Sportlinx360 to play sports and study in the USA with an athletic scholarship. Gratitude, however, runs both ways since for the agency Alice is an example of the ideal student-athlete!

Watch out!

With a degree in psycology and a concentration in criminal justice from North Carolina Central University you have to be on the watch for Alice. She decided early that her future was going to be within the psycology world but she never thought of the context in which she was going to develop her degree. Alice first registered at Università La Sapienza di Roma, but after her first semester things started to change: "I saw Sara Aloisio's experience and suddenly the penny dropped. On the other side it was something I always wanted to do and so by february I've decided: let's go!" There was little time to get everything together and I started by reviewing my English skills and taking the TOEFL exam". All of the classes during her first year went well but Alice, farsighted, wants more: "I've already had in mind the idea of doing a Masters after graduation for what I needed to have my GPA at the top and so I had to study quite a bit!”

The award winning lady

Talking with Alice I realize that humility is part of her character and I try to understand how many awards she has won (believe me, there were many...) but Alice smiles and changes the subject: "Well, yes, I had a lot to do. I became the national secretary for the Golden Key International Honour Society, I participated to several conventions, meetings and seminars to build up my resume. It is very important for students to add these items to their resumes".

Sport is a full-time job

A model student, Alice is all books and sport. Her volleyball experience in the USA was extremely positive: "Athletes are considered special even by professors who appreciate a student-athlete's organizational skills. On the other side we had very tough schedules: alarm goes off by 5 am, then practice every day, weight lifting and then classes where professors know you like in high school. Being constant with good grades and sport is important and I found out that it was easier to study in the college than at home". Volleyball ended up teaching many life lessons to Alice: "Sport is like a full-time job and it is considered as such. Of course at the beginning was hard specially because I had a very tough coach and if it wasn't for the NCAA controls and rules who know how much would she had made as practice! Then we had a new coach and things got better: over there everything is more spectacular, fast and then we travel a lot! They love to play lots of friendly games before the beginnig of the regular season and so we had the opportunity to play against team from every corner of the USA. My team was about a Serie C team on the Italian system and when we got to Arizona we realized we were about to play against a team that was an A2, we were shocked! Many satisfactions for the roman setter who, in the States, played with a bourdeaux jersey number 9 and on an interview posted by her school on their official Facebook website states: "My favourite moment at NCCU goes back to 2011 when I was still a Freshman and we took University of Maryland to 5 sets... it was our first year at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and we demostrated we deserved to be there”.

In contact with the world

Never a free moment for Alice who uses every minute of her time at North Carolina Central University between sport and classes, conventions and internships: "I worked as a tutor for freshman students and then there were some great internships paid up to US$4,000 in 3 months! When I didn't have all these things to do, I didn't know what to do!" However, Alice didn't get bored at all, she had the chance to meet students from every part of the world: "Sports are a great channel, this way I made friendships with volleyball players, tennis players and basketball players from Ucraine, Columbia, Rusia; we were like a team and supported each other. The result is that now I have an accent from the South I don't even realize I have... but it seems it is there”.

Next step…

From a multidiverse context to the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Now Alice has the door open to the Big Apple. She has been admitted to a Masters degree at John J. Hopkins in New York where she will specialize in Forensic Psycology: "I applied to become an assistant coach to the university team, let's see what happens. In the meantime I am happy that my experience in the USA continues, I see my life being there. Work and study, is this what I want to do for the next 2 years".  With a big bag full of experience Alice is now more sensible to some of the problems she faced while in Rome: "You can feel the difference between Italy and America, specially at the beginnig. Completing an experience like the one I just did means to open up doors and windows, means you have to have to courage to stand up and leave. I was lucky my family supported me in all of this. Moreover, my little sister Giulia will also start her own sport and study experience in the USA this year, and in the same city!  We never thought volleyball, our biggest passion, could allow us to do all of this!"