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Krannert connects Purdue men's tennis team

Junior Lucas Dages

A quick glance at the roster of the Purdue men’s tennis team and it’s easy to identify a common theme.

Management. Finance. Business.

Of the nine players currently on coach Pawel Gajdzik’s team, seven are pursuing undergraduate degrees through the Krannert School of Management.

 “We may have common interests but a lot of people hear about Krannert because it’s a really good business school,” junior Lucas Dages said.

Dages joins senior Arthur Dobradin as finance majors and sophomore Gergely Madarasz is majoring in pre-finance. Juniors Matt Bouggy, Ricky Medinilla and Benjamin Ugarte along with freshman Dominik Sochurek intend to major in management.

Not only is Gajdzik selling his tennis program, but he’s also selling future recruits on the overall strengths of the university. One of those strengths is the Krannert School of Management and where it can take student-athletes after their playing careers are over.

“We sell the reputation of Purdue University as a whole and when we go away from Indiana it’s even bigger,” said Gajdzik, now in his seventh season. “We have been very successful with South America and Europe with people recognizing that. They see the value of the diploma at the end of the four years.

“We’re trying to target the guys that have a pretty clear idea what they want to do. Management is one of those disciplines that they do well.”

Dages started in the College of Liberal Arts, but his plan was to switch to business. His dad is an accountant and most of his family pursued business majors in college. Dages, who attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., plans to attend law school and knows the undergraduate degree from Krannert will help fulfill that goal.

“I’ve talked to some attorneys and they ended up having to learn a lot of things about finance and other things just to approach what they’re going,” Dages said. “It’s definitely an advantage to be able to go to a challenging business school like Krannert and get that type of background.”

Dages is benefitting from a group of professors, who are preparing students with real-world experiences.

“I’ve liked how I’ve been able to see the application of a lot of classes and a lot of professors have worked in their fields before they came into Krannert to teach,” he said. “That’s interesting because they can tie things into what they’re doing and give students advice in terms of insights into what we’ll be seeing later on and what type of things we’ll go into if we continue along the path that we are.”

The Boilermakers are balancing the academic and athletic challenges with success. Gajdzik said the team’s overall cumulative grade point average is 3.3. During the fall semester, the group achieved a 3.42 GPA.

Gajdzik doesn’t promote just one pillar of the university, instead focusing on three components – academics, tennis and developing student-athletes.

“Once they graduate from here and they have those three core values and those three core values have improved since they arrived, we did our job,” said Gajdzik, whose team opens the Big Ten season March 8 against Indiana. “Tennis is great but you have to prepare for life after it. You’ve got to have a plan B or a plan C in some cases.”