Maggie Werba: Just Keep Swimming


Maggie Werba is a student at the University of Minnesota working towards her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Human Resource Development. In balancing her time between school work, volunteering and being on the University’s swimming and diving team, Maggie is taking things one day at a time and making her time on campus more than worthwhile. Maggie serves as an inspiration and role model to many at the U and in her hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Here’s a little bit about what she’s been up to lately and how she’s making a positive difference on our campus community:

Q: What is your best memory at the University of Minnesota?

A: The first day of moving in freshman year, a group of us new swimmers on the team took over the 17th Ave dining hall for dinner, fit about fifteen of us at one round table, and bonded over embarrassing middle school pictures. We’ve all been inseparable ever since.

Q: What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

A: My favorite spot on campus (when weather permits) is Northrop Mall. It’s so nice to lay outside and get some sun while people-watching and doing homework.

Q: What activities are you involved in on campus and how have they enhanced your experience at the U?

A: Besides being an honors student highly invested in the Psychology department, I’m also in the Leadership Minor and on the Women’s Swimming and Diving team here at Minnesota. On the academic side of things, being an honors student has allowed me to have the best advisor ever and connect with so many professionals through research. The Leadership Minor has also connected me with some incredible people and has taught me a lot about myself and how to help others. However, the biggest impact on my experience here at Minnesota has been being a part of the swim team. We train twenty hours a week, which of course has a physical impact on me. I can’t imagine walking to class without being sore at this point. But being on this team also gives me an extra seventy family members and allows for me to push my limits on a daily basis. I truly feel like I am getting the most out of my four years here by being a part of these experiences.

Q: How have you contributed to your community at home, on campus or both while attending the U?

A: I’ve contributed the most to the community here and at home through coaching. I have coached little kids at swim campus here at the University, teaching them basic skills and helping garner their love for the sport. Back home I grew up on a YMCA swim team and I also have been coaching and volunteering my time there. Not only do I want to help those little swimmers improve and learn how to chase their dreams, but I also want to show the children how to give back to the people and places that have invested so much in you.

Q: What are you passionate about and how do you reflect those passions in your life?

A: I’m passionate about helping others reach their full potential and helping others be at peace. On a day-to-day basis, if my friends are struggling with something it’s important to me to help them feel okay again. Whether this is listening to them vent, offering advice, meditating with them, or asking them to reflect deeper, I want to help my friends not only be at peace but also learn from what they’re feeling. As mentioned previously, I want to help kids reach their full potential as athletes and teammates by not only encouraging proper technique and pushing physical limits, but also modeling how to dream and seek to understand others.

Q: What are is your dream job and your future aspirations?

A: I want to be an organizational psychologist, ideally working with a business such as Target or Starbucks (because they’re both amazing, obvs). I really want to help employees be happier at work and build on their strengths, thus leading to an increase in efficiency and better business for all.

Q: What are you doing right now to work toward your future goals?

A: I’m currently doing research in an industrial-organizational psychology lab here at Minnesota. I’m also going to be interning with the University of Minnesota athletic department to help set up volunteer events and community outreach activities. By balancing my experiences with the hard science side and the interpersonal side of psychology, I’m hopefully setting myself up on the path to being an organizational psychologist.

Q: Do you have a role model? If so, who are they and why are they inspiring to you?

A: My mom is my role model. She’s the epitome of maintaining compassion and grace through difficult situations.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: Don’t go through a single day without three genuine smiles and one good laugh.

Q: What advice do you have for students who want to be successful?

A: Find an activity that helps relieve your stress. From drawing, reading or hammocking, to playing video games or watching Netflix, having something you can go to in order to feel calm is important in order to maintain a stable state of mind.

Q: Favorite inspirational quote?

A: “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” -Muhammad Ali

Just for Fun

Coffee order: Plain old black medium roast.

Favorite song right now: No way I can choose! I’m currently loving anything by The Chainsmokers though.

One thing you can’t live without: Music. I would be bored throughout the day and practice without some sort of song stuck in my head.

One thing you love about yourself: I love my ability to persevere and learn.

One thing you’re grateful for: I’m grateful for everyone that compromises my support system: my mom, dad, sister, dog, friends and coaches.