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Sue Feitelberg '84 thrives on competition 

By Pamela Reponen

Susan F. Feitelberg ’84 Why play sports in college? Convinced that her participation in athletics at Holy Cross has had a profound effect on her life, Susan F. Feitelberg '84 offers a response to this question from personal experience.

A vice president with Chase Investment Services in New York City for the past three years, Feitelberg believes the discipline and mental attitudes she developed playing sports in college have given her a definite edge in the pursuit of her professional goals. At the top of the list is the ability to take risks. While appreciating the importance of teamwork and cooperation, she stresses the value of risk-taking in the business environment. "I work in an industry that is predominantly male-only 15 percent are women-and it's very competitive," she says. "My athletic background is constantly supporting the decisions I make, helping me to take calculated risks."

Noting that women, in particular, need to develop this capacity, she feels college sports provide a tremendous opportunity for students to learn to cope with pressure and test personal limits. "Whether the competition takes place on the playing field or on a running track," she says, "the arena is a controlled environment with rules and guidelines that allow the player to test risk-taking abilities. Teammates and opponents, too, are an excellent resource because of the feedback they offer on these risks!"

Feitelberg is also grateful for the time-management skills she learned from her participation in cross-country, indoor and outdoor track at Holy Cross. Recalling the rigorous training schedule, she explains that each day she would be up at 6 a.m. to complete a run toward Auburn; afternoons involved track workouts behind Kimball Hall. Since weekends frequently entailed travel and all-day meets, she disciplined herself to study in the van on the way to the competition and in spare moments before an event. "Even though many of my friends think of me as very easygoing," she says, "at work, I rely heavily on the discipline, persistence and goal-setting I learned playing sports at Holy Cross."

Believing that continuous participation in athletics sustains mental and physical toughness, Feitelberg has preserved this edge by playing competitive sports since graduation. An interest in triathlons developed in 1985 when she accepted the invitation of classmate Clare Morey-Ouellette to do the run-leg of a relay. Traveling to Hilton Head, S.C., for the National Championships, they won the women's relay. "This year," she says, "I plan to complete an 'Ironman'-a two-mile swim, one-and-one-half-mile bike trek and a 26.2-mile run in Roth, Germany."

In addition to enjoying the physical rigor of the triathlon and the competitive challenge, she appreciates the social aspect of participating in sports. "In the past 16 years," she says, "I have met so many fascinating people who have become tremendous friends, supporters and business acquaintances."

In her position as vice president with Chase, Feitelberg assists clients in the management of their personal finances with a "peak performance approach." She is writing a book currently as well, and is patenting a process designed to help people simplify their financial lives. Other professional accomplishments include television interviews on PBS and Good Day New York; writing articles for The New York Times, Money and Brides and conducting seminars at the Learning Center. Reflecting on her experience in the worlds of athletics and business, Feitelberg makes this connection: "In both fields, happiness, a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction follow the completion of a difficult task.

 

 

 

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