Braeden McKenzie is busy. A fourth year Physical Education Major, Braeden transferred to Augustana from his athletic therapy program at Camosun College in Victoria during his third year. Along with being an honours student, Braeden is also captain of the Augustana men’s soccer team, sings in Augustana’s men’s ensemble Mannskor, and works in the library. I managed to carve out a few minutes of Braeden’s time to talk about how he got to Augustana and what he plans to do next.
I call Victoria home but I was born in Camrose. My mom and dad both went to Augustana and lived in the ravine residence (Braeden chuckles, as he himself currently lives on campus in the ravine) – no one knows how old those places are except me! My twin brother Adam chose to come back and go to school here, and I have always had tons of good family friends in the community, so it was kind of like a homecoming in a sense. I came and visited Adam during my second year (at Camosun) and I remember realizing that he was building a sense of community and making lifelong friends. My program was great and I was having a lot of fun, but Adam was building something, and I felt like I was missing that. So that was part of my decision. Athletic therapy was a competitive atmosphere, there was no real sense of community or campus pride, but with Augustana, the community formed instantaneously and will remain for a very long time.
What do you hope to do after completing your degree?
Well, that’s the question of the hour right now! I’m looking at sport psychology programs across Canada. My goal is to work in an applied sports role with high level athletes, professional teams, national teams, etc. I have a meeting set up with a professor at the University of Toronto, and another at North campus, and I’m also in contact with McGill and UBC.
Words of advice to new Augustana students?
Utilize the Augustana Advantage. I’m applying to grad school now, and I can go to my professors who I’m practically friends with and say “Hey, this is what I’m doing, can you help me with this? Can you give me a reference?” There aren’t many institutions where that’s a possibility – to know your professors on a personal level and ask their advice like that, let alone them know you.
Favorite musical artist?
That’s tough. The problem is that my roommate is a music God – he just bombarded my life with all of these different artists so now I love everything! I say that he’s the soundtrack to my life, there’s always music in our room and it’s always different. But Coldplay and Drake are probably up there right now.
I just recently watched the documentary 13th. It’s very well done, I really enjoyed it.
How did you spend your summer?
Wild fire fighting in BC.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m pretty introverted but I try to hide it. I try to put myself out there – I was in the Footloose play last year. I try to combat my introverted ways by putting myself in terrible situations!
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My Nintendo 64 is up on the list for sure. I’m trying not to be corny, but I have such a great family and great community and I’m so blessed, which is above the N64.
Who is someone in your life that deserved to be thanked and why?
I’d have to say my twin brother Adam because he got me out here and it wasn’t an easy sell. As well as being an introvert I don’t love change that much, so it was a really tough decision for me but Adam kept pushing me and I would never regret making that decision.