Brooke Spiegel feels at home everytime she steps foot on the UM-Dearborn campus. Recruited as a student athlete, Brooke went on to be the captain of not one, but two inaugural sports teams (Women’s Ice Hockey and Women’s Golf) and also serves as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council. When she’s not leading on her teams, she’s working hard in the classroom as a pre-business major. Brooke is considering pursuing a Digital Marketing degree, but also has interests in business management and public relations. She hopes to combine her love of business with her love of athletics by working in the marketing department of a sports team one day. For now, she’s making the most of her campus experience while still finding time to volunteer as a mentor and coach girls’ youth hockey teams. Here, she shares more about being a leader, an athlete, and how UM-Dearborn is her home.
Brooke, in her own words
On leadership. “I feel like I have always taken on a leadership role throughout different aspects of life. Even within my friend groups, I have been the ‘mom of the group.’ I think it is simply because I will always put others first and make actions for the greater good of the team. A good leader does not need a label to establish themselves as one, but instead will lead. Every leader has a style they lead by—some are more vocal, while others may lead by example. Personally I tend to lead more by example and be the ‘helping hand’, but I can be vocal when need be. Playing as a Wolverine allows me to represent the university while doing so. As a captain, I take the responsibility to create an impact for not only my team, the department, university, but also the community. On a daily basis, I try to intertwine my environments so they are able to connect and help one another as well. If I am able to help one person, I feel like I have succeeded in making an impact.”
On lessons learned as an athlete. “As an athlete, I have learned many skills and lessons that I have been able to apply to my daily life, most without noticing. Some include the importance of practice, punctuality, multi-tasking, problem solving (under pressure and with limited time), and determination. Personally, the main lessons for both personal and professional life are the value of teamwork and communication. Without those then everyone would be lost and the world would not be at the place we are today. Just like in sports, teamwork and communication promote bettering oneself, problem solving, etc. That is because not everyone thinks the same, but teamwork embraces the differences and allows communication to weave them together. Also, one quote I’ve been given as an athlete that I seem to live by is ‘play each shift as if it were your last.’ I take that personally in my daily life as well because you take advantage of your time and day that you have. I will always give every situation or opportunity my all, I will not just quit, instead I constantly keep working to improve. It also keeps me grateful for my life and all the opportunities that I have been part of.”
Advice for students considering UM-Dearborn. “My advice is to go with what you are feeling and do not look back, but see/envision yourself on campus. My process to getting to the point where I am now was quick and unexpected. I was being recruited by colleges for hockey, all of which were further from home. I did not want to stay home for college, however, my two older brothers, David and Andrew, were going to the University of Michigan-Dearborn. During my senior year of high school, the University announced the start of the new Women’s Ice Hockey program. It sparked interest and made me start to finally research a bit. Then came the day of my recruit tour. It was the first time that I had stepped on campus with the thought of becoming a Wolverine and attending the University of Michigan-Dearborn. During the campus walk, my resistance to follow in brothers’ footsteps and stay home for college changed by the simple fact that I felt at home walking around campus. It is still a feeling that I feel each and every time I simply think of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. While on the tour I saw all the different opportunities available such as Talent Gateway, student organizations, and the events hosted. It caused me to vision myself as a student in different ways—student, athlete, extracurriculars — and it inspired me to create the experience I want on campus. I asked my brothers, ‘What made you choose Dearborn?’ Andrew, who was on the hockey team, responded, ‘You don’t choose Dearborn, Dearborn chooses you.’ The next day, I became the first signee for the Women’s Ice Hockey Team and officially a Wolverine. I have not looked back since and have made my experience my own and have embraced everything thrown at me. That home feeling has also not gone away either.”