Gridiron graduate finds fulfillment in peace corps adventure
UTEP News, University of Texas-El Paso, El Paso, Texas
Former Miner football player Will Osolinsky is on a self-described adventure of a lifetime in Ukraine because he chose to follow the road less traveled.
Osolinsky played offensive tackle with the Miners as he earned his marketing degree in 2010 and became a team graduate assistant until he finished his M.B.A. with a concentration in finance two years later. He attended a Peace Corps presentation on a whim while a graduate student and became interested in the chance to immerse himself in a foreign culture and participate in community development. After a lot of research and discussion with family and UTEP mentors, the Miner alumnus decided to forego offers from several Fortune 500 companies and join the Peace Corps, which was created in 1961 to promote friendship and world peace.
After a 15-month application process, the organization stationed Osolinsky in Zaporozhye, a city in southeastern Ukraine, to work with government officials and Ukrainian entrepreneurs on best business practices and leadership skills. He spent the first three months of a 27-month assignment with a host family familiarizing himself with the Russian language and culture.
Osolinsky, who teaches English classes and makes business presentations, said the people he meets are pro-American who often are interested in his height (6-foot-7, or 2 meters locally), cowboy boots and American football. In fact, he helps coach a local American football team, the Cossacks.
“An adventure this exciting was simply not something I could pass on,” he wrote in his blog at slinks54.blogspot.com. “I’m thrilled to be part of it.”
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