Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Full-Court Press

Business student-athlete pursues her passions on and off the court—and around the world.

Kseniya Slynko possesses the kind of dedication and passion that takes her places--specifically, 5,000 miles around the globe to UC.

She began her undergraduate work at Odessa National University in her home country of Ukraine, but her passion for international economic relations led her to the United States, where she joined the University of Cincinnati as a student-athlete, finding her place in the Department of Economics as well as on the UC tennis team. Now a star member of the economics department's ACCEND program, which allows students to complete the bachelor's and master's degree curriculum in just five years, Slynko will graduate in June 2011 with a BA in economics, an MA in applied economics and the 2011 Outstanding MA-Economics Student Award from the UC College of Business.

Slynko has thrived academically at UC, where she has come to feel at home. "The economics department is small in numbers in terms of faculty, but that means that everyone knows everyone else. I can talk to faculty members anytime, even if it's not during office hours," Slynko says. "It's a supportive atmosphere, and I feel very welcome."

In summer 2010, Slynko followed her international interests to Bergen, Norway, where she and four fellow Bearcats joined 50 students from nearly 30 countries for a two-week graduate summer school program, titled "Natural Resource Management: the Norwegian Model," at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. "All of the students in the program had different backgrounds and specializations, which helped us gain a range of perspectives on the topic of sustainable development," Slynko explains. "I really enjoyed exploring one of my areas of interest with such a diverse group of people."

Slynko's zeal is reflected in more than just her studies--awarded a full athletic scholarship, she is also a dedicated member of the UC tennis team.

"Playing tennis while concentrating on my graduate coursework isn't easy," says Slynko. "It requires good time management, and I have to stay ahead in my classes, especially during the spring when we spend entire weekends or more away on tennis trips."

Juggling the demands of both sports and studies, Slynko understands the need for priorities. "My education is my top priority," she says. "Many students work part-time jobs to pay for school. I finance my education with tennis."

In fact, she sees her demanding schedule as an opportunity rather than a hardship. "This lifestyle works for me," says Slynko. "I'm honored to be able to represent UC both as an athlete and as a student."

Ever the scholar, Slynko's sights are set on further study after graduation from UC. After applying and being accepted to PhD programs across the country, she has decided to attend the University of Maryland, where she was awarded a full assistantship. Slynko credits this accomplishment to her support system at UC. "The economics faculty were extremely helpful in the difficult process of applying to PhD programs," Slynko says. "They've acted as a resource and have written recommendations on my behalf. I'm so grateful."

After earning her PhD, Slynko would like to work in applied research with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World Bank but is excited by the prospect of unexpected opportunities along the way.

"I want to follow my passion. Who knows where it might take me?"