Jillian McVicker is a three-year letterwinner on the Ohio State women’s soccer team. The Metuchen, N.J., native has appeared in 58 matches, starting 34. McVicker has posted a 21-14-6 record in goal to while being named a four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
What was your favorite part of Bucks Go Pro?
My favorite part of Bucks Go Pro was directing and producing the Ohio State women’s soccer promotional videos and video headshots. It was so cool to have real-life experience directing an entire video shoot and being responsible for all of the preparation and development involved. I learned a lot of valuable knowledge on how to edit, produce, direct and complete huge projects that will be used on multiple social media platforms and to show on the big screen at every home game.
What is the best piece of advice you received from BGP?
The best piece of advice I received during Bucks Go Pro was in Week 3, when we learned how to build our personal brand. Martin Jarmond was one of the guest speakers, and he spoke about self-awareness and emotional intelligence. The two takeaways I had from his speech was to live by the acronym, JGID, which means Just Get It Done no matter the circumstance, and to always “Bring The Juice,” meaning to bring energy to a room rather than taking it out.
Which site visit did you enjoy the most?
My favorite site was Habitat for Humanity with Buckeyes Care. I believe giving back to the community is extremely important to remain gracious and humble. I love serving others because even though I’m giving my time, I feel so whole and happy in return. I believe the Buckeyes Care program reminds many student-athletes how important giving back to the Columbus community is.
What was your group project, and what was your role in it?
Our group project was the TedX Video Blog. Each of us were responsible for developing a group video as well as a personal video. Our group video shared each our experiences during the Buckeyes Care day of service. The purpose of my personal video on adversity was to touch on what so many athletes have to go through - injury. Mine in particular could have been a career-ender, but with the support and services at Ohio State, I was back in action in less than a year. I wanted to share my story so I could show others that adversity is not a road block, but a speed bump
How did you decide to come to OSU?
I’m from a one-square-mile town in New Jersey, so most of the schools I heard about were on the east coast. Ohio State was the first school to contact me, so I paid a visit out here not really knowing what to expect. As soon as I stepped on campus, I knew I belonged here. It’s a city of college students, filled with an incredible fan base called Buckeye Nation. The facilities are top-notch and the team is so welcoming. Also, the athletic department always looks out for its student-athletes and gives us all of the networking tools for us to succeed in our sports and our future careers. After my visit, I told my coach I wanted to be a Buckeye, and here I am today.
How long have you been doing your sport?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a soccer ball at my feet. I started playing recreational soccer before preschool, but I didn’t specialize in goalkeeping until I turned 12. My coach at the time realized I had a natural ability for goalkeeping when I was the only one on my team who enjoyed rolling around in the dirt.
Do you have any pre-game/match superstitions or rituals?
I always have to match my headbands with whatever jersey I’m wearing - I have over 30 headbands to give some variety. I also write PWTCGHIM on every pair on my gloves, which stands for Play With The Confidence God Has In Me. I’ve been doing this since I bought my first pair of gloves and it’s a nice reminder to be thankful for the talent and opportunities I’ve been given.
What is your favorite part about your sport?
My sport is something that requires physical and mental strength, as well as a high level of tactical and technical ability. I love my position in particular because it’s a completely different sport within the sport of soccer. I train differently, play differently, and have different responsibilities than everyone else on the field. I love how much pressure is put on my position to get the job done every game, and I love the leadership that comes with it.
What is the hardest thing about sport?
The hardest thing about soccer are penalty kick shootouts. After a hard-fought 90-minute game, it comes down to one shooter against one goalkeeper in a shootout, 12 yards from goal. Although this is the hardest part, it’s my favorite. I love the pressure and that the odds are completely against me. I love putting myself as the underdog with a chip on my shoulder so victory tastes that much sweeter.
How do you balance athletics and academics?
I actually believe it would be harder to balance everything if I had more time. Since I’m on such a rigorous and organized schedule. I know exactly what I need to be doing throughout the day and week. I use a calendar and reminders to keep myself in check. I love being busy, and a strict schedule keeps me from procrastinating.
Why did you choose your major?
I wanted to be a sports broadcaster since I was a little girl and I knew Ohio State had a lot of opportunities in this field, so I chose strategic communication with a minor in media production and analysis. With an extra semester due to an injury and redshirt season my junior year, I added a journalism major for some extra experience.
What is your favorite study spot on campus?
I enjoy using the Fawcett Center because I can have a room to myself and stay focused.
What is your favorite class you have taken here so far?
My favorite class so far has been COMM 4191 which required me to have a total of 300 hours of internship credit. Half of those hours went to my internship at Big Ten Network Student U, where I worked behind the scenes during sports broadcasting productions as well as reported. This required internship taught me how to put myself out there and work an internship that I may not have gone after otherwise. It was an incredible experience that will help me astronomically in the field I want to pursue.
What is a fun fact about you that not many people know about?
A fun fact about me is that I really enjoy music. I love songwriting, singing, and learning how to play new instruments. Right now, my time is restricted so I can’t dedicate as much of my time as I’d like to.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would eat grilled chicken. You can season and prepared it so many different ways, so I wouldn’t get tired of it! And it’s a great source of protein.
Who do you most admire and why?
I admire my sister the most. Her name is Jourdan and she’s three years older than me. She was an incredible Division 1 soccer player and excelled in school. She is an Academic and Athletic All-American and finished her Master’s degree in a year. She now has an awesome job in Manhattan. My sister taught me how to succeed and paved the way for me since we were little girls. She is my biggest supporter, my mentor and role model.
Describe OSU in one word.