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Pursuing a championship career

Trevor Walker, a senior specializing in geotechnical engineering, talks about how he balances the academic rigor of engineering and the energy it takes to be a Longhorn football player.

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Like most other civil engineering students, Trevor Walker‘s hectic schedule involves passing, playing and sometimes scrambling.

His nimble mind and keen eye for detail prove handy for his college football career as well.

In December 2009, the NCAA Big 12 Conference recognized Walker’s abilities both in the classroom and on the field when he was named to the Academic All-Big 12 football team.

A senior specializing in geotechnical engineering from Mount Pleasant, Texas, Walker qualified by maintaining a 3.2 or better grade-point average and lettering in Longhorn football.

How do you manage your time between two demanding college pursuits?
Good time management is essential when pursuing a career in engineering and being an active member of the elite Texas football program. We practice football five days a week for 30-plus hours. Engineering classes and study time require a minimum of 40 hours weekly, so together they easily represent two full-time jobs.

Since my freshman year, I have had to learn how to delegate my time in order to ensure that I complete all of my assignments while maintaining my position as a member of the football team. I schedule my classes between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., and report to football immediately after my classes end. From 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Texas football players endure a vigorous practice. After practice, I quickly eat dinner and begin working on my school work until anywhere from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. By sticking to this strict schedule, I have disciplined myself to excel in my pursuits as an engineer and football player to the best of my abilities.

How do you maintain the energy required for both football and academics?
In order for me to maintain my energy level required to perform well in the classroom and on the field I have to get enough sleep at night and maintain a healthy diet. Unfortunately, these two factors are sometimes not enough to sustain me throughout the day. I have often fallen asleep during lectures and I sincerely apologize to my professors. It is during these times when the mental toughness developed through football helps me focus on the task at hand, whether that is paying attention during a lecture or preparing to win a national championship.

Why did you choose to major in engineering?
I chose to major in engineering because I wanted to use my gifts in math and science to make a difference in the world. Ever since I was young I wanted to be an engineer, despite not knowing what the job description consisted of. As I have come to a better understanding of the impact an engineer can have on society, I have been further motivated to strive for success in the classroom.

How do you see your football success contributing to your engineering career?
Football success cannot be achieved without great teamwork. As a quarterback and a leader, I have seen the importance of teamwork in my four years on the team. The power of one is a concept that translates from the football field into the workforce. I am dependent on my team, and my team is dependent on me to get the job done, regardless of whether it’s the proper execution of a football play or the completion of an engineering project.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself in a vital leadership role in a prestigious engineering firm. I also see myself with a beautiful wife and kids. Regardless of career accomplishments, the most fulfilling thing in life is making a difference wherever the Lord places me. If I am presented with opportunities to do this, then I will live a life worthy of its calling.