Rohleder: Getting down to business in the pool and classroom
When Dr. Mike Sanders of UT Athletics' student services office was preparing for Longhorn Career Day in November, he needed some assistance in putting together the program for the event, which continues to grow under his leadership and influence.
Enter Dan Rohleder, a sophomore business major and the male student-athlete of the month.
"Dan is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee," Sanders began. "He knew that I needed some help and he stepped right up and took care of it.
"It was impressive to me that Dan, as only a sophomore, did what he said he would do. But this really epitomizes who Dan is – no job too big, no task too small. He does whatever it takes."
Rohleder, a St. Michael's Catholic Academy ( Austin) graduate, does the same in the pool where he already has enjoyed a great deal of success in his short time at Texas. He won a silver medal at the 2005 World University Games and was a member of the 2004 National Junior Team and captured the 100-meter fly title in the U.S. Nationals.
And, perhaps as a harbinger for UT, Rohleder's work as a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay team in the final event of the day captured a meet against the University of Southern California last October.
"That was a great experience," he said.
As has been his time at Texas thus far.
"Being from Austin, you see that the community has a great regard for Texas," Rohleder said.
That was further evident when Rohleder began working on the program for the career fair in November.
"I was doing research on all of the companies," he said. "It impressed me how many companies wanted to meet with Texas student-athletes. There were companies from California, Florida and New York that came. That showed even more how people in many places are impressed with Texas student-athletes."
Sanders spoke of how he appreciated Rohleder even beyond the work on the program for Career Night.
"Dan was front and center on Longhorn Halloween, where student-athletes go to elementary schools," Sanders reported. "He also was involved in Orange Santa. He understands the importance of giving to the community."
Rohleder was a volunteer coach at the "Swim Like an Olympian" benefit clinic last spring and this fall.
"The kids are ages six through 10," he said. "You have a chance to work with them and make an impression on them because they listen to everything you say."
Rohleder also understands the importance of his work in the classroom. He is excited to be in the business school because it was what he wanted coming out of high school.
"I believe I have become a better student," he said, "Performance in the classroom is as important as performance in the pool. All of the swimmers feel that way. And the competition we have with each other in the pool, we have in the classroom.
"When we were studying for finals, the academic center was filled with swimmers all working, all competing to do the best on the exams."
Rohleder sounded a pragmatic note when he talked about the importance of his education at UT.
"As a swimmer, I know I am not going to have some huge financial bonus waiting for me when my career is finished here," he began. "I'm not going to be a pro, except in business. The opportunity I have at Texas is to continue what I love to do in swimming and get an education that will help me get to do what I want in the business world."
Which today, Rohleder says is to own a restaurant.
"And I'll be prepared because of what I'm doing now at UT," he said.