Bucking The Trend

Dec. 16, 2016

DENTON – The average college student graduates in four to six years. One North Texas volleyball player bucked that trend while dealing with the challenges of being a student-athlete.

Meredith Bramer, who is majoring in organizational behavior and human resource management, finished her undergraduate degree in two-and-a-half years, and on Saturday, Dec. 17, she will receive her bachelor’s degree after juggling both her volleyball and class schedules.

“When I started the recruiting process, I was a 5-foot-8 outside hitter that schools saw as a risk,” Bramer explained. “So, I realized that whatever school that I decided to attend, I probably wasn’t going to be on full scholarship.” 

With that realization, Bramer, who attended Prosper High School, decided to take advantage of the dual credit program that the Prosper Independent School District offered to high-school students.

The program, which was free to students, provided high school and college credit for the completion of a college course.  

“I racked-up 27 units of college-credit hours using the program and advance placement courses,” Bramer added.

Part of the program required students to remain in Texas for college, and go to an accredited university to receive the credits earned.

She chose North Texas.

“My dad played football at North Texas, so keeping the legacy in my family meant a lot to me,” Bramer stated. “They also offered me a good scholarship as well as academic scholarships, so it was a good fit.”

Once at North Texas, the credit hours earned in high school accelerated her graduation date. So, in order to graduate early and keep the cost of college to a minimum, Bramer continued to take additional units, even while in-season.

“I would take nine hours in the summer and 15 in season, so it was a drive to accomplish something not many people do,” Bramer stated. “I don’t know many people who graduate early, yet alone a year-and-a-half early.”


 

 

Bramer had one last hump to overcome in order to take the final step toward graduation.

The School of Business requires graduating seniors to complete a capstone project, which is a live case study on Fidelity Investments, a company that partners with North Texas.

During the study, students, who are placed in groups of seven, must research, develop and propose a plan to Fidelity on how they could potentially enhance their overall income. The group would then pitch its ideas to a panel of judges, and if selected to, would move on to pitching the idea to Fidelity executives and the Dean of the College of Business.

Bramer and her fellow group members centralized their plan around the millennial generation after realizing that it will be inheriting $60 billion by 2050, also discovering that 66 percent of those millennia will fire the financial advisor their parents had.

“Our proposal was for Fidelity to acquire Acorns, a financial technology company, while also protecting the baby boomer generation and their investments,” Bramer said.

Bramer and her group also pitched a learning incentive program, which gets kids involved with their parent’s finances at a young age, so they know and trust the financial adviser with their inheritance.

Their proposal was selected as the best one among the 42 groups, and each member of the group earned an $800 cash prize for the accomplishment.

With Bramer successfully completing the capstone project, she decided to forego her last year of volleyball eligibility in order to focus on completing her MBA in business management, which she will start in the summer.

“The program is all about learning how to be a good manager,” Bramer said. “I really just want to be in a leadership role. I’ve learned that I don’t do well following the leader, I enjoy being the leader and this program really set that out for me.”

Bramer, who recorded 400 digs and 42 service aces as a three-year letterwinner, credits volleyball for helping to build this trait.

“In high school, I was the captain, and I loved that role,” Bramer explained. “When I got to North Texas, I realized  that someone will always be better than you. It’s all competition, and I learned that just because you aren’t playing all of the time, you still serve as a leader for your team.

“Volleyball had to teach me that you don’t have to be the best of the best to accomplish something in life. That’s something I’ll always be grateful to the sport for. It was a really hard decision to stop playing, but my career is advancing right in front of me, and I knew it was time to step away.”

North Texas Mean Green