BOSTON – In 2014, Suffolk women’s basketball history was rewritten by Jennifer Ruys '14. Now is Ram Nation’s chance to visit with the Rams all-time leading scorer as the three-time all-league honoree caught up with GoSuffolkRams.com for a Q&A.
Since Suffolk, you’ve moved into the work field. Could you describe your current occupation, what company you work for and the role you have?
Ah, the real world ... After Suffolk, I went to get my Master’s in Athletic Training at Bridgewater State. Since graduating, I have been an Athletic Trainer at Boston College. I have recently just got a new job as an Athletic Trainer at the Belmont Hill School.
How did you land your job?
While I was getting my Masters, I had a clinical rotation at Boston College. I felt it important to try to learn and work as hard as I could, ask lots of questions, and create good, positive relationships with the people I was working with. I treated everyday as a job interview. At the end of my clinical, my preceptor pulled me into his office and told me they had a job available for the following August and they would like to hire me. Fast-forward three years, I had a wonderful career at Boston College working with some of the best people in a fast paced, exciting environment. A new job opportunity came across my desk at the Belmont Hill School just this July that interested me, so I applied and interviewed, and with the help of some very kind references of SU athletics staff (who I am very grateful for), they offered me the job! I will start the end of August.
Is this your dream job?
So far both of the jobs I have are my dream jobs, but for different reasons. Going into my Masters, my goal was to work D1 Football and I did just that. I was fortunate enough to work with high level athletes and coaches, travel the country (and even a trip to Ireland), and learn so much as a clinician and about what it takes to operate as a Sports Medicine Department in that setting. As I said earlier, I worked with some really amazing staff, coaches, and student-athletes- all who were very motivated and good people and who I will miss very much. That being said, I think Belmont Hill will be another dream job. From what I’ve heard and experienced thus far it is a community of really wonderful people. I will have more autonomy and be able to work with different sports. It may also provide me with an opportunity to teach using my Biology degree from Suffolk. The time commitment is more laid back than it was at BC as well. This is important to me as I would love to have a family and children someday.
Describe your typical work day.
At BC, a typical workday was anything but typical! Oh my how do I describe this without sounding obnoxious …
Starting in August, preseason camp would begin and we would start our days around 6:00 with breakfast, treatments at 7:00am where we would help our student athletes get ready for practice whether it be taping, stretching, pre-practice rehab. We would then go out to cover practice around 8:30am, where we helped with hydration and would be the first responders were there to be an injury or emergency. Practice would go till about 11:00 and then we would come in to the Sports Medicine room for post practice treatments and evaluate and treat any injuries. We would eventually have lunch and then come back to do documentation and keep up our electronic medical records as well as other household duties. There would be another treatment around 3:00pm and then we would cover a walk-through- similar to practice coverage. Some days may end around 6, others around 9. It is quite a full day!! This is 6-7 days a week- with some off days mixed in for our student-athletes.
Once the season gets started it becomes a little more routine. Typically, we get in anywhere between 6-7am, do treatments, cover practice, and do more treatments. If we were traveling that week, we would fly a plane on Friday afternoon to our destination, play on Saturday and fly home right after the game. Home games we would have a walk-through on Friday, stay at the team-hotel Friday night, and play Saturday. Sundays would be med-check and practice. Mondays would be “off-days” but we would still have treatment for injured student athletes. Given we had a decent season, we would travel to a Bowl game around Christmas time where you spend about 4-5 days. The off season is a bit more regular where we worked 8-4 doing treatments and rehabs, covering workouts, among other duties and Sports Medicine projects.
What’s the most surprising part of your job?
The most surprising part of my job is that you never know what you’re going to get on a day-to-day basis. Some days are by the book- typical preparations, rehabs, coverage, etc. and another day there might be an injury or an emergency. You always have to be prepared.
What’s the biggest perk of your job?
The biggest perk of my job is being able to be so active throughout the workday. Personally, I am not sure I would enjoy a typical desk job. In my career I spend every day interacting with all different types of people, and spend a significant amount of my workday on the sidelines of the playing field watching sports. I would say that’s pretty cool.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud to be able to help people. I got into athletic training because throughout my basketball career in both high school and at Suffolk, I really looked up to my athletic trainers. They were good people who were in a position to really make a difference in people’s lives; whether it was to get them back on the court or as a confidant or a mentor. I am passionate about helping others and that is what I am most proud of.
What is your favorite memory at work?
My favorite memory at work… that’s a difficult one. At BC I had the pleasure of working with some pretty incredible people who made just about every day great. I guess one of my favorite memories at work would be our Bowl Game in Detroit. My coworkers and I made a lot of great memories and we got the win. I am excited to make lots of new memories at Belmont Hill.
How did Suffolk prepare you for your role?
Suffolk did a great deal to prepare me. First off, going to school in downtown Boston may sound intimidating but I feel it did a great deal to help me grow up (and it was a lot of fun). Being a part of the basketball team taught me leadership skills, communication skills, and how to deal with adversity. Additionally, balancing athletics and academics taught me time management and truthfully gave me confidence that if I could manage these commitments and do them well, I would be able to prepare for whatever I had to juggle in the future. At Suffolk, I was provided many opportunities by Jeff Stone, our athletic trainer at the time, to do an internship with him as well as with MGH Orthopedics; and over the 4 years he was graceful enough to put up with all my questions about the profession. Coach Leyden also went above and beyond for me, setting up an opportunity for me to shadow a Physical Therapist in the area. I am so grateful for everything Suffolk did to prepare me for my future.
What’s your favorite Suffolk memory?
My favorite Suffolk memory… another difficult one!! There are so many fond memories at Ridgeway and with my teammates over the years. I guess I would have to say Senior night was one of my favorite SU memories.
What advice do you have for current students?
My advice for current students is to make the most of it. I know everyone says it, but it flies by!! Treat people right, work hard, do your best, have fun, and soak it up.
What made you choose Suffolk?
There were many reasons I chose Suffolk. I loved that it was in Boston. I grew up in Connecticut so it was close enough to home but a chance to live in the city. I also really wanted to play basketball. I had some schools interested in me, but when I came to campus to visit I really liked Coach Leyden and what he had told me about the program. I thought the “campus” was cool and though it was atypical I liked the idea of the independence I would have.
Outside of work, what is your life like? I.E. family, kids, what do you do for fun, etc?
I like to think I live a very happy life. Other than working I like to spend time with my family, my friends and my boyfriend. I love working out, reading, spending time outside, traveling, and I still try to play a little ball when I can.
Ram Nation has the chance to stay in touch with Jennifer Ruys by following her on instagram @jenruys.
Are you a Suffolk Athletics alum who would like to revisit with Ram Nation? Contact Sports Information Director Amy Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org.