USC's Friday night starter finds balance on and off the field.
Feb. 14, 2012
Scholar-Athlete Profile: Andrew Triggs
Class: Senior (Graduate Student)
Major: Business Administration (MBA)
Growing up did your parents always support an academics first attitude?
Growing up I never really saw athletics as a viable way to even make a living and there is a chance for that kind of possibility to be on the horizon, but really from the earliest age academics were stressed in my household. It's sort of been my mantra through undergrad and now on to grad school.
Was college baseball always part of the plan?
No, college baseball sort of became part of the plan half way through my junior year of high school. I saw that it might be a possibility and started taking things a lot more seriously. But from day one academics were always important and I always loved baseball, but I just didn't really see it as a realistic way to move forward until later in high school.
Were academics a big part of you attending USC?
No question it was a big part of it. The recruiting process with USC came about sort of last minute. I definitely wouldn't have ended up here or wanted to be here if the academics weren't as top-notch as they are. Having this strong academic foundation was unquestionably huge.
What made you choose a political science major as an undergraduate?
I took all of the government AP courses in high school and liked it and took a few as a freshman here. Enjoyed the major but always knew that political science was a layup for law school. And my father was an attorney, and moved on to business so I sort of new I was going to end up getting an MBA somewhere down the line. That was sort of always where my interests were. So when the opportunity presented itself that I could get started on that even earlier I seized it.
As an undergrad was there a favorite class or professor or something fun that you took?
You were selected by the San Francisco Giants but choose to come back to USC to pursue an MBA. Why books before baseball?
Yeah, I took a Dostoevsky course with Professor Marcus Levitt in the Slavic languages and literature department. It was really interesting. One of the best things about political science is it was a relatively small major in the number of units, so I was able to take whatever I wanted to in lots of other courses. I could take art history or English or comparative literature or econ classes. I had fun with my undergraduate degree with picking and choosing classes that I thought were fun.
I got rid of all my furniture and drove my car back to Nashville. I was ready to move on. I didn't know where I was going to get drafted. In all seriousness I thought it would possibly be a little higher, but even when it happen, I said this is going to be the next step I'm definitely going to sign and move on with it. As things developed over the summer with the opportunity to start a graduate degree, I decided I wanted to pursue it immediately. I came back here and play another year here at USC and possibly take care of some unfinished business from a baseball standpoint. We have a great core of guys and I think this is a group that could go on to regionals and possibly do something bigger. Once the MBA came into the picture I really started to take more seriously the idea of coming back. It was really something I didn't even consider until mid-way through July.
You hope continue to play baseball for as long as possible but do you have any plans or goals to but your graduate studies to use?
In a perfect world it's just sort of a back pocket thing after many, many years in the big leagues.
But when your 50?
Right now I don't know exactly where it's going to take me from a business stand point. The broader stuff like consulting or banking seem interesting but at the end of the day the idea of building a company or building an organization and having something that is your own is really appealing to me.
Is there a specific emphasis you are studying or are interested in?
Not yet, after the first year, which is foundational core courses that you have to take, you get to start moving more towards your concentration. I think I'm going to move towards finance once I get down to it. I think it provides the best foundation for what I think I want to do, so we'll see what happens.
This is your first year as a graduate student how is going so far?
It's good. It's really not too much of a transition from undergrad. Your classmates are definitely a little bit older and everyone is taking the material seriously because everyone is trying to better themselves. The courses are interesting for the most part and the professors have been great. I like it so far.
Being an undergraduate student-athlete can be pretty time consuming. Is it different being a graduate student and an athlete?
The majority of my classes are at night which means I have to get the majority of my work done during the day in between weights in the morning and practice in the afternoon so really besides when I do my work it really hasn't been that big of a transition.
Even with the busy schedule do you still feel like you got the "college experience?"
Oh absolutely. In the spring when you're traveling and playing four or five games a week it gets hectic. Your job is to be a student and your job is to play baseball games, so from there you are pretty two-dimensional in the spring. But in the fall you get to go the football games, get to be more of a college student. The stuff you get to do with baseball, traveling places and to play the College World Series is a blast and I wouldn't have wanted for my college experience to be any other way. I really like it.
Is there anything that you learned as a student that transferred into helping you be a better athlete or vice versa?
Something that I found out, that I think is true for a lot of people, is that you play up to your competition. If you challenge yourself with a class with the people who are in that class, then you are generally going to perform up to their level or maybe beyond them and the same thing with baseball. If you are playing in the PAC-12 in baseball you are playing with some of the stronger teams in the country. And at the end of the day the good teams and the good players, play up to those high levels of competition. That's something I feel overlaps between the classroom and baseball. So I always like challenging myself with a little tougher course work.
Do you have a favorite academic moment or concept or ideas that you can look back on and make you smile?
I feel like in every course you're going to have a "eureka" moment. But I think my proudest moment was right after Thanksgiving break last year and I had 5 papers due in 5 days. And I counted the total number of pages that were due and it ended up being something like 60 odd pages that I had to crank out. And one of them was a 20-page research paper. So I think just getting through that week successful was maybe a shining moment.
What has been the best part about being a student-athlete?
The blend and the mix of people you get to interact with from all of the other sports here. We have athletes who will go on to play professionally and others that have played on the international level. Everybody has an interesting story and the diverse group of people you get to interact with on a daily basis is the most intriguing aspect for me. We get to travel and go to different places during the year. Last year we got to go to Houston for a tournament, the year before we went to Hawaii and I think we're going to North Carolina this year. It's challenging, but fun to be a student and get to travel and get to play your sport throughout the year.