Tess Waresmith, BSBA ’10
Tess Waresmith (SMG ’10) has stood at the edge more times than she can count.
The edge of a diving board, that is.
Growing up in Dover, Mass., she started diving at the age of 11. With considerable talent and a lot of practice, by the age of 15, Tess had a promising future as a diver.
Things don’t always go as planned, though, and an ankle injury cut her diving career short.
After transferring in 2007 to Boston University School of Management from the University of Miami, she had all but given up on her dream. But with the encouragement of BU’s diving Head Coach Agnes Miller, Tess found herself once again on the edge of a diving board. In fact, by 2008, she was the captain of her team as well as the first Boston University diver in 20 years to make it to the women’s NCAA championship—and with a past injury no less.
“Injuring my ankle was really awful, but everything happens for a reason. “I came back to the Northeast, which isn’t known for its diving, but was happier, and more successful,” says Tess. “I was enjoying school a lot more and training just the right amount.”
Divers have to achieve a certain score during the regular season just to qualify for the NCAA’s zone meet, where they then compete to qualify for the NCAAs. Coming from the Northeast zone, Tess had to place in the top three to make it into the championship. Not only did she place in the top three, but she went on to finish 23 out of 42 in the NCAAs themselves.
“After my ankle injury, I had to reevaluate my goals. The Olympics weren’t going to happen, but it felt really good to make it to the NCAA championships,” she says.
Now, having exhausted her NCAA eligibility, Waresmith is leading the Boston University women’s diving team as the assistant coach. Her collegiate diving career may be over, but she hopes that the sport remains in her life in one form or another. As she moves forward with her business career, she knows that the lessons she learned will come in handy: One, the importance of precision. Two, the willingness to change and be flexible. Three, risk management. And four, plain determination and guts.
“A lot of times you’ve been doing something one way for so long that when someone tells you to do it differently, it can be scary. But you have to be willing to make the change and realize that at first it might not be as good. A lot of times when you make changes in diving, you take three steps back. But then, eventually, you take five steps forward. I think this is an important lesson in business too.”