Student Spotlight: Maggie Maranz
Junior Maggie Maranz has spent her entire life around college basketball, so it is no surprise that she became involved with the Men’s Basketball Team upon her arrival at the University of Michigan. What surprised even her was how taking one class freshman year has led to so many different opportunities.
Growing up, Maggie’s dad was a college basketball coach in her home state of New Jersey. Maggie and her brother Brendan both played basketball in high school and worked camps with their dad during the summer, so it was natural that the two continued their involvement in college.
Brendan, who is 16 months older than Maggie, decided to attend Maryland after high school and quickly applied to be a student manager for the men’s basketball team. Having the same love of basketball, Maggie knew she wanted to do the same.
“I was very excited when I was accepted to Michigan and I knew I wanted to be a manager here,” she said.
Maggie didn’t waste any time when she arrived at U-M, heading up to the basketball gym during her freshman orientation. Shortly thereafter she became a U-M Men’s Basketball Student Manager.
One of Maggie’s responsibilities as a manager is to film the games, a responsibility that put her shoulder to shoulder with her brother at the Crisler Center when Michigan played Maryland.
“We have always completely supported each other in everything, but there is definitely a sibling rivalry to go along with the basketball rivalry,” Maggie said.
Maggie’s favorite part about being a student manager is being a part of a team and doing everything she can to make sure that the team succeeds. This attitude also translates to Maggie’s involvement in programs she didn’t think she would be a part of before coming to U-M, classes and opportunities provided by the Center for Entrepreneurship.
Her introduction to the CFE couldn’t be more different than to college basketball – it was by chance.
“I lived on North Campus freshman year so me and two of my friends thought, ‘Let’s take 407 (Entrepreneurship Hour),’ because it is a one credit class and the speakers they had scheduled seemed really interesting,” she said.
Maggie and her friends took Entrepreneurship Hour Discussion the same semester, where they received more time with the speakers and could delve into specific details about ventures. It was during this class that Maggie learned about another opportunity the CFE offers in collaboration with International Programs in Engineering, entrepreneurial-focused summer study abroad programs.
“Personally, I can’t ever study abroad during the school year because of basketball, the Portugal trip was three weeks, so it was perfect,” Maggie said. “Me and my friends were just really excited because we had never been to Portugal and it would be a cool experience.”
Maggie ended up with an experience that surpassed all expectations, “It was like being in an incubator for three weeks. It was the best experience. If I had it to do all over again I would do it the exact same way. It was so much fun.”
One of her takeaways from the trip was that entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily being a founder, it’s about having a mindset that can help you in the real world.
“I value teams way more now that I understand the purpose of working with people who have different backgrounds and experiences,” she said.
During this course leaders in their field came in to talk to the students about subjects that aligned with the weeks’ lessons, which is where Maggie met Spellbound CEO & Founder Christina York.
“I was mesmerized by her,” Maggie said. “The day she spoke to the class I conveyed to Ted that I really wanted to connect with her.
“She is the coolest entrepreneur I have ever heard of in my life. Ted said it was no problem to connect us.”
SpellBound is the first augmented reality platform engineered for healthcare, and while Maggie does not have any specific healthcare experience, she landed a summer internship with the company.
“The internship was amazing, I was able to sit in on a meeting right away and this continued throughout the summer,” Maggie said. “The great part about this is that Christina would ask me my opinions after each meeting.
“It was really cool to put in my two cents in and if I had an idea Christina would say, ‘Great! Write up a proposal for it.’”
Maggie stayed on at Spellbound in a limited capacity once the school year started and returned to IA for Ted Dacko in the fall.
“I have been very fortunate that all of my mentors have been so nice, passion-driven, and genuine people,” said Maggie. “I couldn’t have hit more of a jackpot.
“To think all of this happened from sitting in the 407 lecture, which people take just as the credit/non-credit class, is ridiculously insane.”