In pur­suit of excellence

Soon-to-grad­u­ate Sara Bax­ter sets sights on law school

Annapolis Valley Register - - RECREATION - BY JOHN DECOSTE

Ever won­der what var­sity stu­dent-ath­letes do af­ter they grad­u­ate?

A hand­ful will go on to com­pete pro­fes­sion­ally in their sports of choice. A greater num­ber will choose to con­tinue post-grad­u­ate aca­demic stud­ies with the goal of earn­ing one or more ad­di­tional de­grees.

For fifth-year rugby stu­den­tath­lete Sara Bax­ter, her goal is to be­come a lawyer. By the time she grad­u­ates in May with an hon- ours busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion de­gree spe­cial­iz­ing in ac­count­ing, she will likely have made her fi­nal de­ci­sion from among no fewer than four law schools.

“I’m very, very ex­cited,” Bax­ter said. “I found out … I’ve been ac­cepted by the Univer­sity of Toronto to study law.”

She had pre­vi­ously been ac­cepted by the Univer­sity of Ot­tawa, an­other of the four law schools to which she had ap­plied. As of mid De­cem­ber, she had also been ac­cepted at Dal­housie.

The other law school to which she has ap­plied is Queen’s. She ex­pected to hear from Queen’s one way or the other this month.

Were she to choose Queen’s, “I might have the op­por­tu­nity to study in Eng­land again.” The univer­sity, she pointed out, “owns a cas­tle (in Eng­land) which was gifted to them. There are a cou­ple of pro­grams you can choose that in­clude cour­ses at the cas­tle.”

When she en­tered Aca­dia in 2014, Bax­ter, a Monc­ton na­tive, ex­pected to grad­u­ate in four years. Be­cause she chose a co-op op­tion in her sec­ond year – and spent a se­mes­ter study­ing in Ply­mouth, Eng­land – she found her­self a cou­ple of cred­its short.

She was not dis­ap­pointed, hav­ing al­ready made the de­ci­sion to re­turn for a fifth year of study (and rugby) in 2018-2019. The fact the Ax­e­women were host­ing the U-Sports women’s rugby na­tion­als this fall was a big fac­tor in her de­ci­sion to spend a fifth and fi­nal year at Aca­dia.

It’s been an ex­cit­ing fall semes- ter for Bax­ter. Along with ap­ply­ing to law schools and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the women’s rugby na­tion­als, she was an Aca­dia’s nom­i­nee for a Rhodes Schol­ar­ship.

With rugby over for this year, Bax­ter, who is stay­ing for sec­ond se­mes­ter, will spend her time fin­ish­ing her honours the­sis, ex­am­in­ing “the com­plex­ity of tax reg­u­la­tions for small busi­ness in Canada.”

Asked her im­pres­sions of the rugby na­tion­als, Bax­ter said it was “in­cred­i­ble. The fan sup­port was un­be­liev­able, and I was very happy with our per­for­mance over­all.”

Con­fer­ence ri­val St. F.X. ended up win­ning the na­tional ti­tle.

This is also Bax­ter’s sec­ond year writ­ing fea­ture sto­ries for Aca­dia Ath­let­ics.

“I’m lov­ing it. I’m get­ting to hear peo­ple’s sto­ries, how they got here, and what they’re do­ing out­side sport. I love be­ing able to give credit to peo­ple for all the great things they’re able to do over and above be­ing a stu­den­tath­lete.”

As she nears the end of her time at Aca­dia, Bax­ter was asked if she had a high­light from the past four- plus years. “I don’t know if I could choose one,” she says. “My time here has been so in­cred­i­ble be­cause of all the peo­ple I’ve been able to meet and all the con­nec­tions I’ve been able to make.”

And, of course, she’s ex­cited to study law next and is thrilled to have some of the ex­pense cov­ered by schol­ar­ships “and the earn­ings from my co-op place­ments.”

As well, she was one of eight At­lantic Canada busi­ness stu­dents in 2017 to re­ceive a Sobey’s schol­ar­ship val­ued at $25,000.

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