Senior Highlight: Ryan Ogorzalek

After graduation, senior electrical engineering major and Esports team member Ryan Ogorzalek ’20 plans to pursue a career with Navsea Crane in Crane, Indiana. His time at Valpo gave him the experiences and tools to prepare him for the future. 

“The Valpo community, especially in this last year, has been wonderful since I was able to meet a lot of new friends due to the Esports team and in the residence hall,” Ryan says.

After seeing a post on social media and inquiring about Esports, Ryan was determined to see the start-up at Valpo and be part of the growth for the Esports team. 

“I have been gaming ever since I could remember, and being able to apply it to the University and help the program start was just something that made sense to me,” Ryan says.  

With much anticipation beginning the Esports program, the first year came with obstacles. 

“The challenges in the first year were getting the format right. Of course, with all first-year programs, it isn’t perfect, and the ideal team setup wasn’t there,” Ryan says. “There was a lot of back and forth. The main challenge was getting the proper setup and idea of what practices should be. We overcame these with teamwork and planning, especially when the school brought on a Valpo alumnus as a coach, which helped out a lot.”

Aside from Esports, Ryan was involved in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at Valpo but admits between class and friends it can get busy. IEEE is an organization committed to the development of electrical engineering students. It focuses on their capability, responsibility, and knowledge in the engineering industry and as members of society.

“I was a part of IEEE, and played basketball with some friends outside of class, as I didn’t have too much time from all the homework,” Ryan says. “My biggest accomplishment was being on the dean’s list a couple of semesters as well as being one of the first members of the Valpo Esports program.”

Between the extracurriculars and involvement, Valpo was able to help Ryan develop the skills needed to survive in the real world.

“Valpo has taught me how to be the best me. The small class sizes and getting to know everyone allowed me to do my best,” Ryan says.

While Valpo and the community played an instrumental role in Ryan’s experience, his time as a student-athlete made a huge impact on him.

“Being a student-athlete, at least in the Esports case, helped me understand why working with a team is important, not just in that setting but in all parts of life because you must like the people you work around to have an optimal setting,” Ryan says.