Meet the Class of 2014: Zach Hegelmeyer

heg--1-3Hometown: Crescent City, Calif.
Major: Organizational communication (minors in entrepreneurship and management)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?

A: When I look back at my time here, I see a multitude of amazing people I got to know and countless memories I will always cherish. However, many of these moments began as challenges. I came to Fox to play baseball for a highly respected program. Although my classes have been awesome in preparing me to succeed in the future, my four years as a player on the George Fox University baseball team have forced me to come face-to-face with adversity and prevail over it. One of my assistant coaches, Randy Rutschman, taught me how to embrace these challenges with a confident and positive mentality in order conquer them. Life has a way of throwing curveballs, and after bouncing back from two severe injuries that I was told would end my athletic career, I had to find a way to win. That seemed to be the theme while I was here. Not that winning was most important – it was more about the character I built along the way. On the baseball team here we call each other family, but I have also felt this same characteristic extend to the university as a whole. With the support of some amazing professors, loyal friends and very special mentors, I can enter into a new chapter of my life with the confidence to excel at whatever I choose to do.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?

A: My experience here at George Fox started out with me feeling somewhat like a foreigner. I had no family or friends in the Northwest and my surfer/skater persona stuck out like a sore thumb. This turned out to be a vital trait that led me to the internship that opened a huge door for my future. Charles Choi, one of the professors in the Department of Communication Arts, ended up teaching several of the classes I had to take. Right off the bat, I connected with his passion for surfing and his Southern California roots. Coming into my senior year, I needed an internship for a semester in order to graduate, but I had not come across anything that really sparked my interest. I asked Charles to keep an eye out for any opportunity associated with action sports, particularly surfing. Somehow he met the event director of the only Oregon stop on the Big Wave World Tour and persuaded him to give me a shot at being his assistant. This required an ample amount of trust on Charles’ part and I was determined not to let him down. The opportunity challenged me with tasks I knew nothing about and responsibilities that required me to think outside the box. My hard work during the fall and part of spring semester resulted in the first ever sanctioned women’s big wave surfing event as a part of the men’s event. The Dive N’ Surf Oregon Pro featured 24 men and eight women and was broadcasted live globally through a webcast and nationally on the Universal Sports Network. It was a huge success and a lifetime dream come true.

Q: What’s next?

A: The plan after I graduate is a little up in the air, but with the connections I’ve made through my internship I hope to be working for Body Glove International in the fall. I had the pleasure of working alongside Robbie Meistrell, the CEO of Body Glove, and have the opportunity to pursue my dream of a career in the surfing industry. However, one of the things I love most about the company is that it extends beyond just surfing. They are also involved in the wakeboarding and diving industries, which could open up new and exciting opportunities. What draws me to this industry is the chance to travel the world and experience a variety of diverse cultures. Also, I look forward to transitioning from my George Fox baseball family to a company that considers its employees family and shares the mentality of wanting to help others.

One thought on “Meet the Class of 2014: Zach Hegelmeyer

  1. Zach,
    We are so proud of you. Wish we could be at your graduation, but we will be thinking of you.
    Love,
    Aunt Terri and Uncle Tracy

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