PHOENIX, Arizona, November 15. FORMER Auburn diver Dan Mazzaferro is a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and on today's edition of The Morning Swim Show he talks about the process by which he is guided through the interview process.
He also talks about what he could possibly study if accepted to attend Oxford University. He's got interesting plans for healthcare, as well as a few opinions about the current state of healthcare in the United States. Underneath all that is a diver who enjoyed his career at Auburn, co-mingling with the swimmers and embracing the team's camaraderie. Watch the full show in the video player below and visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Show Transcript: (Note: This is an automated service where some typos and grammatical errors may occur.)
Peter Busch: This is The Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, November 15th 2011. I'm your host Peter Busch. In the FINIS monitor today we'll talk to former Auburn diver Dan Mazzaferro. He's now a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship and Dan joins us right now in the FINIS monitor from Auburn, Alabama. Hey Dan, welcome to The Morning Swim Show. How are you?
Dan Mazzaferro: Good. How are you doing today?
Peter Busch: Good. Congratulations on being a Rhode Scholar finalist.
Dan Mazzaferro: Thank you. It's an awesome honor.
Peter Busch: All right. So I heard that Chemistry is what you studied in college. Now you're getting your MBA?
Dan Mazzaferro: Yes, it's a weird combination. Most people think the same thing. My original plan when I was a college sophomore or junior at Auburn was to go to medical school after my undergrad and then possibly pursue an MBA after medical school, but because of some complications and some different issues regarding my senior year I had to redshirt because I tore my ACL the summer before and with that I had to decide after graduating that May of 2010, my fifth year, which would be my last year of my eligibility at Auburn whether to pursue a second undergrad degree or a Master's Degree and I thought it would be the perfect timing to pursue my MBA before going to medical school.
Peter Busch: So that you could compete that fifth year, senior year – you graduated in four and didn't need to extend your undergraduate degree so that you could compete essentially, leads you to get your MBA.
Dan Mazzaferro: Exactly right.
Peter Busch: You like school entirely too much, man.
Dan Mazzaferro: I know, I'm a full time student I guess you could say.
Peter Busch: Well, as you mentioned business and medical, these fields tend to intertwine so that makes sense.
Dan Mazzaferro: Yes, at first people don't think so but with where healthcare's going, many more physicians and doctors and all medical personnel really have to have a good grasp of the business realm, the business knowledge.
Peter Busch: So tell me about where the process is right not for the Rhode Scholarship?
Dan Mazzaferro: I've spent about the past week and a half preparing, just doing some research, reading up on some things, and kind of putting all my thoughts together that have already been expressed on my Rhodes personal statement, my resume. So I've been organizing all that and I've already had a mock interview last Friday, I have another mock interview this upcoming Friday and then the following week, on Tuesday, we'll do a full run through here at Auburn. I've had great support from the staff here. We'll actually do like a mock dinner and then a mock interview the following day which is exactly how it's going to happen on November 18th and 19th in Boston and that's because I applied through district 2 which because my home state is Connecticut and district 2 contains both Massachusetts and Connecticut. So I'll going up Boston on November 18th and 19th; 18th at night there will be a dinner from 6 until 8:30 pm and then the following day, on the 19th, there will be an interview with 13 finalists and between 8 and 12 in the morning. And then they said the decision will be at 2 pm that day which is a quick turnaround but we'll see.
Peter Busch: Geez, it's like a whole season of preparation, shave and taper at the end too?
Dan Mazzaferro: Right, for a three-day meet but this is a two-day meet.
Peter Busch: So Jordan Anderson, fellow Auburn guy, could probably help you with some of these mock interviews – he obviously knew what he was doing.
Dan Mazzaferro: Yes, I spoke to him this past weekend. He's right now finishing up his second year at Oxford and he's having a blast. He studied Medical Anthropology and this second year he's writing a dissertation. He's loving it there. He's had a great experience but again he feels like he's been studying so much that he kind of wants to get into the working world even though he has the goals and dreams of going to medical school too.
Peter Busch: I know when you become a Rhode Scholar that you kind of focus on something very, very specific in your studies. What would you like to do within the field of Chemistry? And don't say "Breaking Bad."
Dan Mazzaferro: It's not directly related to chemistry but it's about medical engineering. The reason why this field has become of interest to me is because it's that summer I did an internship in the Czech Republic and I saw many different types of global health systems and was able to really understand that healthcare really contains three different facets where both the medical professionals, the businesses, the business professionals or the administrators as people may say and the biomedical engineers and I think it's important for all three of those aspects to really work cohesively and collaborate and communicate with one another in order to deliver effective and efficient healthcare.
Peter Busch: I don't want to go full meet-the-press on you here but what are your general thoughts since you know more than most people watching probably on America's healthcare system?
Dan Mazzaferro: It's on the road to unfortunately probably collapsing and that's why there's obviously so much reform being done right now. I think it's needed, I think it's great that people are trying to make a change and I don't think all the changes can happen immediately all in one setting but progressive change is definitely important right now.
Peter Busch: Well they need smart people like you to be a part of the solution so good for you.
Dan Mazzaferro: Yes, I'm trying.
Peter Busch: Are you still diving at all?
Dan Mazzaferro: I'm not. I'm kind of tired now. The skis have been hung up in the closet for about five months now or so and yes I still think about it every once in a while. I've got on the boards a few times just jumping around but I've been trying to be involved in a few other activities now, I've also swam a little bit. Being with the Auburn Swimming and Diving Team for four or five years I've learned some of the techniques of swimming so I've enjoyed that as a kind of recreational sport and also tennis, so those are my two extracurricular activities to try and stay in shape.
Peter Busch: How do the Swimming and Diving Teams mesh there at Auburn?
Dan Mazzaferro: Like no other team and honestly it's one of the two reasons why I came to Auburn – both the family — being able to come to Auburn and already have 60 brothers and sisters, 60 friends that will have your back no matter what throughout your life and also the family here in Auburn in general. It's a unique culture especially coming from Connecticut where the people interact very differently from up there to down here.
Peter Busch: Well Dan it's great to see another success story from aquatic sports. Best of luck with the Rhodes Scholarship interviews.
Dan Mazzaferro: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
Peter Busch: All right, that's Dan Mazzaferro joining us from Auburn today. And that is it for today's show – I'm Peter Busch reminding you to keep your head down at the finish.
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