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Time Management: Tips From An Olympian To Be A More Efficient Student Executive

As a student executive serving the student body of your university, you will be in a position where many students will rely on you to represent and act in their interests. Some days, you might feel overwhelmed with both academic and executive duties. You will be trusted to manage your personal responsibilities while being able to carry your student government weight seamlessly. What are the keys to succeeding at both? Time management and discipline. Well, this is what Concordia University student-olympian Philippe Beaudry suggests. Philippe is a world-class Canadian fencer who was part of the Canadian Olympic team in Beijing in 2008. He will have the opportunity to fence for his country once again in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Here is what he was able to share with OOHLALA:


As a kid, why did you choose fencing over all the other sports?


In fact, as a kid I tried a vast number of sports. I did judo, swimming, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, taekwondo, track and field and diving. When I arrived at Brebeuf High School at 13 years old, I wanted to try a new sport out of curiosity. And the moment I started fencing I had a passion for it. The rest is history.


When did you know you wanted to take fencing to the next level?


I knew I wanted to take fencing to the next level one year after I started fencing. After my first year of fencing I concluded my provincial season by winning the silver medal in the benjamin (under 15 year old) category and winning the bronze in the cadet (under 17). My coach thus decided to register me at the National championship. I did not achieve any results at the Nationals, but I watched the highest level of fencing in Canada and this is what inspired me during the next couple of years. I wanted to reach that level.


In high school, how tough was it to balance practice time and studying?

Balancing training and studying always has been hard. I quickly learned to organize my time better and discipline myself. I has always dreamt of going to the Olympics in fencing but I was not willing to sacrifice my grades for it. So I simply had to prioritize my activities and cut the distractions like computer games and TV.

The hardest part though was to manage my energy level. Many times I did not feel able to concentrate in my studying after a fencing training because I was exhausted. To manage this I had to make sure I slept enough and especially that I ate sufficiently and most of all that I ate as healthiest as possible to keep a high level of energy all day long.


As a student-athlete in university, how did you manage to excel both on and off the strip?

The work load in university is greater than in high school. Soon enough I had to realize what was the right number of classes I should register to so I could still do high level fencing without sacrificing my grades. I decided to take an average of 3 classes per semester. The most important part for me was that I was holding to my studies while training hard and traveling all around the world for my tournaments to achieve my dreams.


Is there any particular routine you have to stay focused in school as well as in fencing?

I try to use every bit of time that I have to make it as efficient as possible to achieve my objectives in fencing and in university. Some people call it sacrifices, but I simply call it priorities.


What kind of support do you regularly get from everyone from the government, to your friends and your parents?

My family and friends provide me a lot of moral support. As for the financial support to pay my fencing expenses, this year they originated from the provincial and federal government, one sponsor (Maskinon) and three scholarships from the National Bank, RDS and FIDA. Furthermore I gave around 25 conferences in Quebec schools which are remunerated, I organized a fundraiser by selling fencing posters in local tournaments and my therapist organized another fundraiser in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu to help me out.


We wish you the best of luck in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, what are your predictions?


To get on the podium I need 3 victories in a row. On a good day I can do this. So wish me the best of luck so this good day will be the 29th of July!

Serving the student body of your college is very much similar to serving your country at the Olympics. You represent a group of individuals you may not necessarily know personally but who look up to you to represent them with pride. To do so, discipline is key. Juggling your academic responsibilities and your executive duties can look challenging at first but if your time is well managed, you will breeze through the year and succeed in flying colors. Rise up to the challenge!

If you are interested in following the progress of Philippe Beaudry at this year's Olympics, you can like his page on Facebook.


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