Graduate profile: Alen Cisija

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Cisija

Alen Cisija gradated from Westfield High School in 2008. He then went on to graduate from Oberlin College and currently works as an attorney for the Seattle Seahawks NFL team.

What sports/clubs/programs were you involved in in high school?

“Varsity soccer, Student Impact basketball, Brain Game, French club, photography club and National Honor Society.”

What was your favorite high school subject and why? 

“Design Processes, for two reasons: One, it taught me how to approach and think about problems from a different perspective, one that I had not yet had experience or comfort with, and two, because the teacher, Mr. Jason Hemmerling, was a good, patient and approachable guy.”

Who has been your most influential high school teacher? 

“Mrs. Elaine Jensen, my former French teacher. She was incredibly passionate about her students.”

What do you miss about high school? 

“The sense of community. I’ve moved around the country quite a bit since graduating high school—to six or seven states, I think—and have yet to come across a community that is as rooted in its local high school as Westfield is.”

Can you tell me about your collegiate experience? 

“I graduated from Oberlin College, a small liberal arts school near Cleveland, Ohio. I chose Oberlin because of its strong academic reputation and its soccer program.”

What did you major in? Why did you pick that major? 

“I double majored in Politics and Sociology. Politics because I had always thought about going to law school, so the subject matter was a good match. Sociology because I was intellectually curious about social trends, inequality, and policy.”

What’s your dream job? 

“The job I have now. I am an attorney for one of the best, most highly regarded organizations in professional football. It’s a dream come true.”

Do you have any advice for younger students?

“Challenge yourselves early on. Don’t take the easy way out. Challenges and failure are a big part of life. You will almost certainly mess up somewhere along the line—in a tough class, in a relationship, during a bad day in school or at work. But, learning early on how to take on a challenge, failing, and reflecting upon the experience is the best way to grow.”

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