Winter Commencement 2023: Amy Swain, Davis College of Business and Economics
As a standout soccer player in high school, Amy Swain knew when she started looking at colleges that one of her key priorities was a school with a solid and successful women’s team.
Swain is from Ashburn, Virginia, about four hours to the northeast, but Radford University hadn’t really crossed her radar until a coach she knew recommended she give it a look. In the winter of her senior year, she visited the campus, and a match was made.
“I fell in love with the coaching staff, the support system and the team, and I just knew,” Swain said of her tour. “I was like, this is the place where I can succeed both academically and athletically.”
On the academic front, she chose to study marketing and, in doing so, was following a family tradition. Her father, Bob Swain, is a client executive with Cisco Systems, and her elder siblings, Maggie and Charlie, at that time were also marketing majors.
“My goal is to go into sales, and I recently found, after doing an internship with Iron Bow [Technologies], that I really like technology sales,” she explained. “I like the idea of technology because both my dad and my sister do it, and I like hearing what they do, but then I get to find my own specific areas that I can focus on.
“You can go into working with the D.O.D. (Department of Defense) or working in education or other fields like that.”
In addition to her internship with Iron Bow Technologies, Swain served as a marketing and game day intern with Radford Athletics. She also minored in communication and coaching education and, since high school, has taught youth soccer in Loudon County to children ranging in age from 3 to 12.
Swain’s athletic career has been prosperous as well. Although her freshman year coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she excelled on the field despite having to work within rigorous safety restrictions. She ultimately shifted from playing defender to forward, earning a starting position in 38 of the 40 matches that spanned her junior and senior years.
In 2022 and 2023, she also collected a pair of Big South Championship rings, and in November, Swain and her teammates reached the NCAA Tournament, where they fought hard against the top-seeded Clemson Tigers, shutting out their opponents in the first half. In the end, Clemson prevailed with two points, but Swain said the outcome showed the Highlanders rising to a considerable challenge.
“I'm not gonna lie. Losing 2-0 to a No. 1 seed and coming from a smaller school, a smaller conference, that's a win for us,” she professed. “It was really cool.”
She’s not turning in her cleats just yet, either.
Although she’s about to collect her marketing degree, Swain has already begun Radford’s accelerated MBA program, which means that as a continuing student, and due to the pandemic, she remains eligible to play soccer for a fifth year.
“I love challenging myself,” she said of pressing forward with her advanced degree in accounting.
“There have been times when I was doubting that I wanted to continue with soccer, just because it’s so mentally draining. But it also taught me about overcoming obstacles.
“I’ve also had great coaches and a great support system of my family and friends that have pushed me to be the player and person I am today. I’m just really grateful to have all those people who built me into who I am now.”