McCullough has a bachelor's, master's degree in computer science
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
We caught up with Panther basketball player Dave McCullough, a graduate student who is currently studying for his MBA, for this edition of Scholar-Athlete Spotlight. McCullough is in his first season with the Panthers after previously playing at Division I Morgan State.
With the Panthers’ season tipping off next Friday, we chatted with Dave about what made him choose Florida Tech and what he wants to do with his degree.
■ Tell us a little bit about your major, what made you choose it and what do you want to do with it?
I’m majoring in business administration. The reason I chose business administration is because I have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree already in computer science.
So, I had the technical skills and the technical side of what I want to do, so just combining business with the technical side led me to me wanting to be a software engineer. Ultimately, I want to be a CEO one day and own my own tech company, so understanding the business side of the technical side is important to building a company.
■ When it came time to continue your education, what was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
What really stood out about Florida Tech is the location, of course, just five minutes from the beach. Also, the higher level of education at the Florida Institute of Technology stood out. And lastly, the relationship that I had with the coaches, they were comfortable with me being able to express how I feel about my last year and them telling me their expectations of me led me to choosing to Florida Tech.
■ What’s something you’ve learned at Florida Tech about business that you didn’t know before?
I’m taking a marketing strategies class now, so being able to have group projects and discuss different marketing strategies, different ways to promote products and, and that aspect of being able to tie in with a group and being able to learn about different strategies to tie in with a business.
■ Your season starts with practices in September and can run into March, how do you stay balanced to make sure you don’t fall behind either in class or on the court?
The main thing with being able to manage both I’d say is time management. Personally, I have a schedule that I go by every day, a routine and I also follow a weekly planner that I have. So, anytime that I have an assignment or anything due, I put that assignment into the weekly planner, so I don’t forget about it, and I just make sure I do it and don’t procrastinate.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and are there lessons from the court that you apply to your studies?
The game of basketball has taught me a lot with my studies. The main thing I’d probably say is hard work, every day you have to be able to just bring your dedication and determination to the court, which translates to the classroom.
Also, teamwork, I feel like in a business setting in the real world, you’re going to have to be able to work in a team setting. So, basketball taught me the lessons of teamwork. Also, being a leader is another thing that basketball has taught me, and as a leader, you have to communicate to your teammates well, and that’s something that may also have to translate into the real world.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that might want to take a path similar to the one you’re pursuing?
I would say have a concrete plan and don’t listen to outsiders, don’t have a plan based on what other people want you to do. Even your family may want you to do a certain thing, but if it’s God’s purpose for your life to do whatever you want to do, have that concrete plan and just put the work behind it and it will get done.
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