His Own Game

April 28, 2017
Mitch Farrey

Alumnus combines passion for sports and business

Mitch Farrey has the unique distinction of being a two-time University of Wisconsin-Platteville alumnus—with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, which he earned on campus in 2009, and a Master of Science in Project Management, which he earned online in 2011.

“My experience as an on-campus student and as an online student were very different, but both were great experiences,” Farrey said. “The on-campus experience was great largely due to the fact that it’s smaller class sizes, and you really get to know your professors and the industry knowledge that they have. You become more than just a student ID number to them. The online format just gives you so much freedom to do what you want, when you want, and at a pace that is comfortable to you. On top of that, you again get so much industry knowledge, and you can be online anywhere. I had classmates and professors in all different time zones and countries for some of my courses, which was very eye opening and informative on many levels.”

While completing his master’s degree, Farrey served as a graduate assistant coach for the UW-Platteville Men’s Basketball program, and coordinated summer basketball camps. “I knew going into high school I wouldn’t play on varsity or the next level in college. So I transitioned into the team manager role, and a bunch of my coaches were UW-Platteville alums (Tim Decorah, '92, Jeff Knatz, '93, Blake Knutson, '00, Dana Mackenzie, '01, and Tyler Selk, '03) and they told me I would be a good fit there if I wanted to major in business and continue my passion for basketball,” Farrey said. “From there, I met with former head coach Paul Combs and current Head Coach and Platteville alum, Jeff Gard ('01, '05), and really shared their visions and expectations for the program, and before you know it, I was on campus and working with the team. I will always remember how the students and community packed into Williams Fieldhouse and cheered us on, and the lifelong friendships that I made while I was at the university.”

Farrey now serves as a Program Specialist in the UW-Madison Athletics Department and is in charge of assisting the Track, Cross Country, and Tennis programs with travel, recruiting, budgeting, and processing expenses, among other duties. “I was lucky to grow up in a very supportive family and community that allowed me to be involved in many aspects of sports, which is what made me see the business side of the industry and want to get my degree in that field.”

As for what’s next, Farrey said, “I hope to transition into athletic administration someday, as I really enjoy being a part of the student-athlete experience. Although I was not considered a true student-athlete, I got to tag along and enjoy a lot of the benefits that you get to achieve academically and athletically, and I feel that is important to share and pass on to future generations. If I would ever have the opportunity to do that at UW-Platteville that would make it even more special.”

Below, Farrey talks about his role on the Distance Education Alumni Board and how he continues to stay connected and give back to UW-Platteville.

Q: What made you want to join the Alumni Board?
A: First off, they needed people on the board, so that helped, but really I just wanted a platform to give back to a university that gave so much to me and is why I am where I am today.

Q: Are there specific things you like to help with or participate in? 
A: I love helping out with basketball tournaments and seeing people work hard to donate and give back to their community.

Q: What are your goals for the board?
A: I think there are many goals as a board that we are trying to achieve. I think the biggest one for me is recognition and awareness toward distance education, and removing some stereotypes that are associated with online learning platforms.

Q: Why do you feel it’s important to stay involved and connected as an alumnus?
A: It’s important to give back to make sure that future generations have the same quality higher-level experience that past generations had

Q: How would you encourage distance students and alumni to get involved and stay connected to UW-Platteville?
A: Follow along on social media to stay in touch. Reach out to the Alumni Association, UW-Platteville Foundation, and former professors. Many people think that the only way to give back is to write a check, but there is so much more you can do, and people are always in need or volunteers for all kind of events and projects.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I’d like to add how great I think the Platteville community is in supporting all aspects of the university.

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