They say the fastest way to get where you’re going is to travel in a straight line, but we all know life doesn’t always put us on a linear path. Sometimes there’s curves along the way, and sometimes you have to travel around the world to figure out where you're really meant to be. Goran V. Carlsson ’19 — "Victor" to friends — knows a thing or two about this.
Born and raised in Kalmar, Sweden, Carlsson started playing hockey at the age of four. Like most young hockey players, he dreamed of making it to the NHL — but early on he realized it would be a tough goal to achieve.
“By 15 or 16 years old I realized that to make it in the NHL you have to be a freak athlete and have unbelievable talent. So, I knew I was playing more for fun at that point,” Carlsson admits.
Despite the NHL being out of reach for Carlsson, his love for the game made him want to continue playing competitively — so much so that he was willing to travel halfway around the world to do it. After high school, he packed up and moved to Boise, Idaho to play in the Western States Hockey League. “It was an unreal place, and I’m so happy I went and played there,” he says of the experience.
I had a good feeling about JWU and its hockey team."
When he first arrived in Boise, he had no plans to attend college. But then he began hearing about JWU from a teammate, Stefan Brucato ’17, who had committed to play for JWU in Providence. Carlsson’s head coach, John Olver, also encouraged him to consider going to college. Then, in a showcase game in Las Vegas, Carlsson was recruited by JWU’s head coach. All signs were pointing to JWU, and Carlsson chose to follow the signs. “I had a good feeling about JWU and its hockey team,” he says, “so, after my second year in Idaho, I committed to play at JWU.”
When he arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, he immediately fell in love with the “cool vibe” of the city. Even though it was very different from Kalmar and even Boise, it was another new place to see and explore. Carlsson has always loved to travel, a trait he shares this with his parents, Thomas and Charlotte. They've supported him in all his decisions — even the ones that have taken him around the world. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support,” he says fondly.
CARLSSON (SECOND FROM LEFT) WITH FELLOW SENIORS ON THE JWU HOCKEY TEAM.
And today, with only a few months until graduation, Carlsson has spent his time at JWU excelling not only on the ice, but in the classroom as well. His passion for travel led him to pursue a degree in International Business, but his interest in finance also led him to minor in Economics and join the Wildcat Investment Value Fund (WIVF). The WIVF is an internship for a group of students that allows them to manage a real investment fund. They follow SEC guidelines and analyze real companies and stocks, which gives them real world experience in finance. Carlsson is currently director of Investment Research, a role he feels is perfect for him.
The most exciting thing about WIVF is the teamwork.”“It fits me well, since I enjoy researching companies and digging deep into economic indicators, current news and trends,” he says. But, for him, there is more to WIVF than just his research duties. “The most exciting thing about WIVF is the teamwork, and how JWU lets us further develop real-world experience together,” Carlsson reveals. “It would be nerve-wracking to invest your own money without expert opinions or input, so the WIVF offers a perfect opportunity for us to learn and discuss everything you should know about a company or stock before investing in it.”
With so much going on in his life, Carlsson has impressed those around him with his ability to handle school work, hockey and his WIVF internship. But, if you asked Carlsson what the most challenging thing about being an international student is, his answer isn’t multitasking. “It’s the language. I’ve worked hard to be able to master two languages, — and I think I’ve made it a long way — but that’s definitely one of the more challenging parts of being a non-English speaking international student.”
I’ve had a blast at JWU, and I've made some lifelong friends by coming here.”
Still, the language barrier hasn’t stopped him from traveling around the world, playing the sport he loves and getting a college education in the U.S. “I’m so grateful that people convinced me to come here. I’ve had a blast at JWU, and I've made some lifelong friends by coming here.”
We’re also glad Carlsson came to JWU, and we can’t wait to see where he ends up next.