Injury creates new opportunity for Pamplin student
As an undergraduate, Nick Reisenweaver had already demonstrated the hustle and grit for which Hokies are known. Then, after a setback, he showed different qualities just as important: resilience and the ability to pivot.
Reisenweaver landed at Virginia Tech the same way many other Hokies do: His older brother attended. Through visits, he developed a love for the campus, the quality of education, and football.
So when Reisenweaver arrived on campus, not sure of what he wanted to study, he turned to his third love by walking into the football offices and introducing himself.
Impressed with his moxie, the staff gave him a post as a volunteer student assistant with the Recruiting and Operations Department. He then picked up a work-study job as a strength and conditioning assistant, helping the coaches in the weight room and essentially working two jobs as a first semester freshman. By his second semester, he’d been promoted to an undergraduate offensive assistant within the coaching department. In less than four short months, Reisenweaver had worked his way up the Virginia Tech football hierarchy and landed jobs in the three primary departments of college football.
Then, when the coaches noticed him playing pick-up basketball over the summer, they asked about his own personal football background and offered him a spot on the team as a preferred walk-on upon the conclusion of the 2017 season. As a preferred walk-on, his spot on the team was guaranteed.
“The opportunity to play Division 1 football at a program like Virginia Tech was one I couldn’t pass up,” Reisenweaver said. “So at the end of the 2017 season, I left my post as an undergraduate offensive assistant and accepted my spot as a preferred walk-on.”
Reisenweaver played wide receiver for the Virginia Tech Hokies.
“Playing was going well, and I enjoyed every second of it,” he said.
Just before the Oct. 6, 2018, game against Notre Dame, however, Reisenweaver suffered a career ending injury in his foot: a complete tear of the Lisfranc ligament and fracture of three metatarsal bones. The injury required two surgeries — one in October and one in April — as well as 10 months of physical therapy. Reisenweaver was unable to walk for four months.
By this point however, Reisenweaver had settled into his academic studies, pursuing a double major as a chartered financial analyst and certified financial planner within the Department of Finance in the Pamplin College of Business. He’s on track to graduate in December 2020.
“While all this was going on, I was falling in love with my studies and academics,” Reisenweaver said. “The injury freed up my weekends. For the first time in two years, I got my Fridays and Saturdays back because I wasn’t traveling with the team. In turn, I had the opportunity to apply for an investment management club on campus called SEED — the Student-Managed Endowment for Educational Development.”
Virginia Tech SEED provides real-world experience in investing, networking, and more through a student-managed endowment fund with more than $5 million in assets under management. It’s one of the largest entirely student discretionary undergraduate-managed equity portfolios in the nation.
Reisenweaver applied to SEED, went through a semester of training, and was accepted after a year-long process. The experience and education in finance careers, financial markets, investment trading, and more has completely transformed his horizons.
“That’s where I am right now, a full-fledged member of SEED,” Reisenweaver said. “I’m falling in love with what I’m studying. I want to pursue career in sales and trading, or maybe some sort of buy-side finance role.”
Reisenweaver said the help of others helped him get to where he is today, and so he’s already trying to pay that forward and give back by working with younger students within SEED. Reisenweaver is also a member of the Hokies Helping Hokies Heal group, a program where formerly injured Virginia Tech athletes mentor and provide guidance to current Virginia Tech athletes dealing with injuries.
“My favorite quote I try to live by every day is by former Navy Seal David Goggins: ‘You want to be uncommon amongst uncommon people,’” Reisenweaver said. “That’s a motto I try to live by, with the football team, in SEED, and by trying to better myself day in and day out.”
— Written by Mason Adams