McKenzie Campbell makes a splash at Georgia Tech, as a pivotal member of the GT Swimming and Diving team, while seamlessly navigating academic hurdles.
Her athletic journey at Georgia Tech began successfully during her freshman year, where she established herself as one of the institution’s top swimmers by clocking the fifth-fastest 400 IM and ninth-fastest 200 IM at the Georgia Tech Invitational.
Her exceptional organizational prowess played a pivotal role in harmonizing her intense training schedule with her academic commitments.
Currently, Campbell is diving into the depths of the MS in Analytics program at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE).
When asked about her motivation to pursue a master’s degree, Campbell said “I decided to do my master's because I had two internship experiences. One is Supply chain analytics [at Georgia Pacific LLC] and one in financial data analytics [at UPS] ... I had an interest in analytics and data science, and I wanted to enhance those skills.”
Campbell’s Swim Towards Excellence
Campbell's day starts early with morning swim practice, beginning before dawn. This early session sets the tone for her day, filled with back-to-back classes that demanded her keen academic focus.
Navigating the rigorous demands of being a student-athlete, Campbell showcased her skill in the 100 and 200 fly, securing second-fastest team times for the season. Her first-place finishes in the 200 fly against Florida State, Georgia Southern, and SCAD further cemented her status as a formidable competitor in collegiate swimming. 
In her sophomore year, she shattered Georgia Tech records in the 200 fly and 400 IM, and secured top-ten times in the 500 free and 100 fly. She further showcased her versatility at the NCAA and ACC Championships, recording personal bests in the 500 free, 200 fly, and 400 IM. 
By her junior year, Campbell further solidified her reputation as a NCAA qualifier by breaking records in the 200 fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM. Campbell also clinched first place in the 200 free at the Gardner-Webb meet. 
Every path has its obstacles, and during the isolating times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Campbell found strength in routine, focusing intently on swimming and academics.
This period, while testing her resilience, unexpectedly led to one of her best swim seasons and personal growth in adversity.
Georgia Tech’s Guiding Influence
Campbell credits much of her success to her mentors and coaches at Georgia Tech.
“My coach right now is Chico Rego, and I’ve been swimming with him for like 3 years now. During my first two years, I swam with Bill Koppelman, and he did his Masters in analytics from here and he suggested that I should look into IE if I like math and statistics” Campbell said.
Her academic advisor, Dr. Goldsman, also played a crucial role in guiding her through the challenges of her Industrial Engineering and Analytics courses, fostering in her a deep appreciation for the field.
When asked to share guidance for upcoming student-athletes at Tech, Campbell emphasized, "Balancing time is key" advising those to harness the Athletic Association's robust support, lean on dependable teammates, and smartly plan their course schedules, including summer classes.
Currently, Campbell is making the most of her fifth year by continuing to compete on the varsity swim team.
As Campbell progresses further in her master's program, she looks forward to a future where she can blend her passion for analytics with her experiences in supply chain management.
Author: Atharva Anand Dave
https://ramblinwreck.com/. (2023, September 13). McKenzie Campbell. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. https://ramblinwreck.com/sports/c-swim/roster/season/2023-24/mckenzie-campbell/