Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Lacrosse Player Jackson Sytsma | florida institute of technology


Sytsma is majoring in Construction Management

Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s lacrosse player Jackson Sytsma, a sophomore who is majoring in Construction Management. (Florida Tech image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther men’s lacrosse player Jackson Sytsma, a sophomore who is majoring in Construction Management.

Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, Jackson was named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll following his freshman season.

As Jackson gets ready to begin his second season in the Crimson and Gray, we sat down with Jackson to talk about what he’s enjoyed so far about his time at Tech and where he hopes his education will take him.

What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?

My major is a construction management and it’s not something I’ve always wanted to do.

In high school, we have this program where instead of taking a couple of classes, we can go have an internship, and then just answer a few questions for a grade.

So, my first internship was with a law firm, and it was alright, but then my second one, I had a buddy on the cross country team and his dad did construction management and so I was able to intern with them and I really enjoyed it.

Got to hang out in the office, and watch the FSU Student Union be built, it was a really cool experience, I enjoyed it. So, I pursued it here.

What was it about Florida Tech that drew you here?

When I realized I wanted to play lacrosse in college, I reached out to most of the Sunshine State Conference schools.

I knew because I’m from Florida, and our old coach was the one who reached out to me and was accepting and very vocal about wanting me to come here. So, when I had my visit, it was really enjoyable, everybody was really friendly, and I just felt like it was a spot for me.

How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?

Hopefully, make some money (laughs). Other than that, I hope to either work with the company I interned with in high school or maybe find a company down here, whichever works out but becomes a project engineer, and then make my way up the ranks and find out what I really want to do.

Whether it’s estimating in the field or being a superintendent, or just being a regular project manager.

What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?

So, I haven’t had a lot of opportunities since I’m just a sophomore, but my favorite so far has been last year in construction plans and readings we got to build an office building in Revit.

We got to see all the intricacies in the building, like what the walls were made of and how it goes up, it was really interesting.

Between the busy schedule in the spring, all the practices and road trips, how do you keep everything balanced once the season starts?

Of course time management, but taking it one day at a time, not getting too caught up in the season. Just getting one assignment out of the way and studying and be prepared for whenever we have to go on those road trips.

I’m already prepared so I don’t have to struggle on the bus or the hotels to get all this stuff done.

How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the field that you apply to your studies?

I’d say the biggest thing is communication with the coaches and my teammates. Especially on the field because playing defense, half of it is communication, telling other guys what you got to do.

And in construction management, it’s more about communicating from the subcontractors to the owners, about what’s going on with the projects to make sure everything runs smoothly. Even when stuff comes in the way like rain delays.

Even when stuff goes bad in lacrosse, when we go a man down, we’re still able to communicate. Make sure the project goes well.

What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Construction Management?

I’d say definitely get to know professors and the other students in construction management because it’s a lot of room-based stuff. And the professors are really cool guys with really cool back stories about what they’ve done, different projects they’ve been on, it can be really helpful. As well as other students.

What expectations do you have for yourself and the team heading into the 2023 season?

Conference championship, national championship!

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