Joyce is our Tennis Recruiting Advisor based in Mexico, her smile and energy are always there to motivate and guide her students, as a former college tennis player, she combines her own experience with the USP method to provide the best support and advice.
This is the fourth interview of a series we did to all our staff members, we want you to really get to know us, understand who we are, where we come from and why are we so passionate about college athletics and helping young students and athletes secure their future.
USP: Tell us about your background. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
Joyce: I was born and raised in Mexico City. My parents met playing tennis so I was introduced to tennis at a very young age. I have an older brother who is also a tennis player. My family has always been very sports-driven and I particularly have lots of love for all sports in general. Particularly soccer and tennis.
USP: Where did you go to college?
Joyce: Because of tennis, I was able to get a full ride at Sacramento State University. I always say that the best time in my life was my golden college years.
USP: Who have been your strongest influences in life?
Joyce: My parents. My mom and my dad had very different parenting styles. I think I was able to get the best of each of them and I am very grateful to have them in my life. I also would like to give credit to my coaches. I was lucky enough to have great coaches as role models. They taught me a lot about discipline, hard work, and sportsmanship.
USP: What led you to this career? How did you end up at USP?
Joyce: My brother had a really bad experience with a placement agency while he was doing his college placement process. I had a really great experience in college so I wanted to be a part of an agency that really cares about student-athletes and their future. I would like to help as many students as I possibly can so that they can have a great experience just like I did.
I ended up at USP because I met Thomas at a coach's conference. He was a speaker at the conference and I went to the conference just because I knew he was going to be there and he was going to talk about UTR which I was very interested in starting those tournaments in Mexico. I gave him my personal card which said that I was an agent in college placement and he invited me to join the USP family. In the beginning, I was very skeptical about placement agencies but after getting to know how USP works I really liked it and I decided to join the team. It makes me extremely happy to work at USP and I am very thankful for the opportunity of being part of such an amazing company.
USP: When people ask you "what do you do for a living?" How do you respond?
Joyce: I help young athletes to find the perfect university for them so that they can continue growing as student-athletes.
USP: What is your proudest experience since working with USP?
Joyce: I have really loved working with all my clients. I think what I have enjoyed the most is the personal connection that I have built with each one of them and how grateful they are because we as a company really care about their future.
USP: What is the main mistake you see in the recruiting process?
Joyce: Communication and expectations. If we don't communicate well we are not able to understand our client 100%. Sometimes parents have higher expectations about what we can actually find for their kids so that can be really tough if we don't communicate well since the beginning.
USP: Can you tell us about one (or two) Client story you will never forget.
Joyce: Florencia Fuentes: She had no UTR or no ITF ranking but I knew she was a great player so I talked her parents into having her attend the showcase even though they were very limited economically hoping that she would get a school interested. She attended the showcase and got offers from 2 schools for a full ride.
Romary Cardenas: She didn't even want to do the process because she felt like she was not following her dreams of being a professional tennis player. Once we found the right school for her and the right coach she was super excited and now she can't wait to go to college. She was very emotional and extremely grateful for our help.
USP: What is your most important advice for a student and for the parent?
Joyce: Start the process as early as you can. Going to the right University and playing on the right team can change your life so take the time to do the process and the outcome will be great!
When asked for a short bio for the USP website, this is how Joyce described herself:
The best time of my life was during college. I love working at USP because I am able to help student-athletes go through the same experience as I did. I get the most satisfaction knowing that the players that I work with will have a lot of personal and athletic growth.
Thank you, Joyce!