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A hot degree in Psychology and the suitcase ready for a new adventure. Alice Genna was one of the first girls to have taken advantage of Sportlinx360 to study in the United States thanks to sporting merits, but the gratitude is totally reciprocated since Alice is a real feather in the cap for the agency!

Watch out for her!

She graduated from North Carolina Central University with a degree in psychology, with a concentration in criminal justice. In a nutshell: watch out for her! This is Alice’s calling card, who had already decided that her future would be in the psychological field but certainly she would never have expected the ‘territorial’ context. The first enrolment at the University was at La Sapienza in Rome, but after a semester things began to change: “I had seen Sara Aloisio’s experience and the light bulb went on. On the other hand, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so in February I decided: let’s go! Time was tight, so I got down to the English tutoring, took the TOEFL exam and off I went.” The exams in college immediately go quite well but Alice, far-sighted, is not satisfied, and wants more: “I already had my future in mind and for the choice of a possible Master’s I had to raise my average, so I had to study a lot!”

The Woman of Awards

Chatting with Alice I realize that humility has been and is one of her characteristics, so when I try to understand the amount of academic awards won (and I assure you that there are many…) she nods but dribbles smartly: “Well yes I got busy, even joining some College honor societies such as the Golden Key International Honor Society, acting as its national secretary; I have participated in many conventions, conferences, seminars to gain experience. It’s very important to a student’s resume.”

Sport is a job

A model student Alice, all books and sports. Her experience of volleyball in America is super positive: “The athlete has an eye on the professors, who appreciate his organizational skills. On the other hand, we had really grueling schedules: wake up at 5 a.m., workouts every day, weights and then classes, where the teachers know you as if you were in high school. Having consistent performance is important, and studying in college is easier than at home.”

Volleyball has proven to be a life teacher for Alice, from many points of view: “Sport is practically a job, it is considered as such. Of course, at the beginning it was difficult also because I had a really tough coach, who if it hadn’t been for the league’s controls, who knows how much he would have made us train! With the change of coach everything went much better: everything is more spectacular there, faster, and then you travel a lot! They like to play a lot of friendlies before the start of the official championship so we had the opportunity to meet teams from all countries, of a very high level of play! My team was more or less like a C series and when they took us to Arizona and we realized that the lineup we had in front of us was at an A2 level, it took a beating!” Sharing and a lot of satisfaction for the Roman setter, who wore a burgundy number 9 jersey in the USA and who in an interview made public on Facebook by her University says: “My favorite moment at North Carolina Central University dates back to 2011 when I was still a freshman, and with my team we took the University of Maryland to the 5th set … it was our first year at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, and we proved that we really deserved to be there.”

In contact with the world

Never a free moment for Alice, who spends every minute of her stay at North Carolina Central University, between sports, classes, conventions and internships: “I mentored the freshmen, the tutor, and then there were the summer internships, which were paid a whopping $4,000 in three months! When there weren’t all these things I almost didn’t know what to do…” Alice was definitely not bored, as she had the opportunity to meet students from all over the world: “Sport is an important channel, so I found myself making friends with tennis players, volleyball players, basketball players, from Ukraine, Colombia, Russia, with whom we had really teamed up, giving us continuous mutual support. The result is that now I find myself with a Southern accent, which I don’t realize, but it seems to be there.”

Next stop…

From a multilingual university context to the most cosmopolitan city in the world. Now the doors of the Big Apple are opening for Alice. In fact, she has been admitted to a Master’s degree at John J. Hopkins in New York, a PhD in Forensic Psychology where she will be able to specialize: “I applied to be an assistant coach at the university, let’s see what happens. In the meantime, I am happy that my experience in the United States continues, I see my life there. Work and study, that’s what I hope to do for the next 2 years.” With a wealth of experience that weighs heavily, Alice is able to look more consciously at some of the problems and at the life she had in Rome: “You can feel the difference between Italy and the United States, especially at the beginning. Having an experience like mine means opening doors, it means taking courage with both hands and going. In this, I know that my family supports me. By the way, my sister Giulia is about to start the same adventure and we will find ourselves in the same city: we never thought that volleyball, our greatest passion, could bring us all this!”