Many players who score the game-winning touchdown dream of being carried off the field by their team. Austin Oude-Reimerink, a fourth-year commerce and finance student at UTM, scored the championship-winning touchdown in a high school football game and was carried off the field—on a stretcher. Oude-Reimerink was tackled late in the end zone by an opponent, which snapped his leg in half, making for an awkward and painful celebration.
That moment led Oude-Reimerink to stray away from physical-contact sports primarily focused on physical contact, and try other sports; sports that would leave top Varsity Blues athletes envious of his talents. Throughout his time at UTM, Oude-Reimerink has an extensive list of intramural and extramural teams under his belt. He has excelled in flag football, basketball, and volleyball. He’s a four-time squash champion, floor hockey specialist, and an indoor soccer champion. If you haven’t noticed his face, then you probably haven’t been to the gym enough. With all his experience at UTM, whether in the gym or the classroom, he has a strong message to share with students looking to further themselves here at the place he’s happy to have called home.
The primary goal for Oude-Reimerink coming into university was to try as many sports as possible. He wanted his love of sports to mesh with his passion for meeting new people and creating a student network. “There’s this sense of community here that I took advantage of early on,” he says. “I have a core group of friends that I’m always playing sports with and having a good time. If I’m having a bad day, it gets better after hanging out with good people and being active.”
On top of his busy intramural and extramural schedule, he finds time to lift heavy weights. “I try to lift weights every day. If I have a sports game that day, I’ll only work out for an hour, but if I don’t have a sports game, I’ll go for a couple of hours,” he says.
“There’s this feel-good aspect that’s associated with lifting weights. For me, if I don’t go a week without lifting weights, I don’t feel good, and I have an entirely different mindset. There is a night and day difference between not lifting weights and lifting weights. Then again, there’s always motivation for looking good,” Oude-Reimerink continued with a chuckle.
In high school, he knew of all the activities going on year-round, which initiated his competitive spirit and realization that he could network while having fun and live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Oude-Reimerink has a couple of best friends that drive him to be the best athlete he can be. You can see him hanging out with Varsity Blues football players like Nick Hallet and leaders of the UTM basketball team like Alessandro Tanzi. “I like people watching me, it’s what drives me to do well. I try not to carry that over to an ego aspect, but I do enjoy the feeling of a win. I feel like it can be seen as a bad habit, in a sense, but I compare myself to a lot of people, which at the end of the day motivates me to do well,” he says.
Learning what Oude-Reimerink does outside the gym and in the classroom, you wonder if he’s obsessed with work. He’s been part of the Undergraduate Commerce Society for the past two years, and has taken on the role as VP external. “With marks, it’s the fear of being below the average, whereas sports are all about winning,” he says. “With sports, I’ve always done well trying to beat the guy beside me, but when it comes to grades, I’m in this ongoing internal fight against myself. It’s about overcoming this guilt feeling and not letting people down.”
“I like to organize my schedule in such a way where I can make the most efficient use of my time,” he adds. “It’s important to surround yourself with people who are doing the same things as you. Individuals who are doing great things in your field of study, and especially people who are doing better, are the people I want to surround myself around because they motivate me to do better.”
Next year, Oude-Reimerink is looking to get himself into finance sector. The five-year-plan is ambitious; he’s interested in private equity and analyzing data for significant acquisitions, eventually owning a company. When asked how he was going to accomplish this, he claimed that a couple of leadership qualities are going to be important factors to remember and employ. “Adaptability and building up communication methods are important to me. Everyone you meet you can’t treat like everyone else. There are no two people you can handle the same way and get the same result. It’s being able to adapt to certain situations and then seeing which strategy is most effective in dealing with that person.”
If you’re a student looking for different strategies for success at UTM—especially if you’re a first-year—Oude-Reimerink would love to give back to the community and share the insights he’s learned along the way. “About 95 percent of the people you meet here are willing to share their knowledge and help you out. It’s all about having the confidence to go up and ask questions,” he says, humbled and appreciative for his four years as an Eagle.