Student Athlete Spotlight: Melanie Plattner ‘18

Meet Melanie Plattner, a senior here at Babson, captain of women’s Cross-Country, and Women’s Track and Field record holder. Mel, originally from Austria but moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey when she was five, is a member of the Women’s cross-country and track teams. As a Recruitment and Professional Development Chair for Peers on Wellness, a Teaching Assistant for QTM, a member of the Student Athlete Committee, and a Student Researcher in the TOIM Department, Mel leads a busy life during her senior year here at Babson College.


HC Babson: What made you decide to run in college?

Mel: My main factor in deciding to run in college was coming to terms with the fact that it was a huge part of my life in high school. I wouldn’t have had the same high school experience if I hadn’t been a part of cross-country and track teams. My time management was better in season, and it was something I couldn’t have gone without. For me, running in college wasn’t a decision; it was more of a realization I had that I needed to continue what I was doing.


HC Babson: What is your concentration/post-graduation plan?

Mel: I am concentrating in accounting and analytics. Post-grad, I am happy to say that I signed my offer with PWC for auditing.


HC Babson: What is your favorite thing about Babson?

Mel: I’d have to say the size of the school. I love that it’s a small school, because it feels so close-knit; I love being able to see friends whenever I want without having to take a monster walk across campus.


HC Babson: Do you think Babson does a good job catering to the needs of student-athletes?

Mel: I think that, in general, professors and faculty are very understanding toward student athletes in that they acknowledge the time commitment and the dedication that is required of them. Within reason, they are usually trying to work with us to help us continue being successful student-athletes. Whenever I had to meet a professor whose office hours were during practice, they were usually very accommodating and tried to find a time to meet with me outside of that. Class registration is difficult because certain classes I need or want to take are sometimes offered during my practice time. Those classes can conflict with lifts and running, which is frustrating because as much as I need to be at practice with my team, I also need to take certain classes.


HC Babson: How do you view the relationship between athletes and non-athletes?

Mel: Overall, athletes are generally very close to their own teammates, and to other athletes as well. Because I’m spending hours everyday with the same people, it’s only natural to form bonds with people who share your interests. That being said, I know a lot of athletes who have friends who are not athletes, and it’s good to have a group of people outside of athletics that you can connect to as well. Personally, I have my teammates who I run with, have so much fun with, and who I spend a good chunk of my day with. On the other hand, I also have a group of girls I live with, study with, and can make relationships with as well.


HC Babson: Has being an athlete limited you from participating in any clubs/activities/programs you wish you had the chance to be more active in?

Mel: Being a student-athlete definitely comes with sacrifices. For example, I wouldn’t be able to join club soccer or other intramural sport because of being in season, and I can’t risk injury. Aside from that, it’s also a sacrifice in terms of getting a job on campus and being able to work. While I do have on-campus jobs, I can’t work as much as I would like to, and it is definitely a challenge trying to schedule all of that around a sport. It’s hard, but I love what I do as an athlete and couldn't picture school without running.


HC Babson: What is your best Babson Cross-Country/Track memory thus far?

Mel: On the track, I would have to say when we competed in the 4x800 and finally broke the school record at NCAA Regionals last year. We were very committed and motivated when it came to reaching this goal, and as soon as we handed off the baton and crossed the finish line, we knew we had accomplished what we wanted. As soon as we finished, I kid you not, we were the happiest we’d been all season. We exceeded our own expectations, and it’s a great feeling to accomplish what you’ve been working so hard for. Off the track, my best memory is when we were able to come together during tough times last year, and provide the support each person needed. Last year, when a lot of us were having a tough time with school, all of us were able to provide a support group environment for the team, and it not only alleviated pressures, but made us closer. When you’re down or feeling alone, the best feeling in the world is knowing you have a group of girls on a team who are your sisters, and who can be there for you. It’s like being part of a family.


HC Babson: If you had to define your experience as a student-athlete at Babson in one word, what would it be?

Mel: Memorable


Fun Facts

HC Babson: Favorite food to eat after a run?

Mel: Anything that’s placed in front of me (odds are, I’m starving)


HC Babson: If you were a raindrop and could fall anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Mel: New Zealand


Favorite type of sneaker to run in?

Mel: Brooks Ghosts


HC Babson: Spandex or shorts?

Mel: Spandex for sure


HC Babson: Favorite movie?

Mel: Forrest Gump


HC Babson: 800 or 10K? (it’s a track thing)

Mel: 800