“Sometimes people have to sacrifice certain things in order to get what they want.  However, I never had to make that decision. Attending MSOE has given me the opportunity to play the sport that I love at the college level in addition to getting a phenomenal education.”

Senior hockey defender and biomedical engineering major Ryan Vlaisavljevich gets to compete in his favorite sport while also continuing his education in a field he enjoys.

Vlaisavljevich was inspired by his cousin Eli, who is currently a professor at Virginia Tech, to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. He also realized through him that he could continue his hockey career as well.

“Growing up, he [Eli] was like the brother I never had. He went to Michigan Tech University and in addition to majoring in biomedical engineering he also played hockey. Our family would always travel to watch him play and I also had the opportunity to watch him defend his thesis at the University of Michigan. He was always a major role model for me growing up and seeing the projects he was involved in really interested me.”

So, when the sport he loved brought him to MSOE after two years of junior hockey, Vlaisavljevich jumped at the opportunity knowing he would be able to follow both his passions. Besides the opportunity to play hockey, many more things about MSOE stuck out as he made his decision and as the senior reflects upon his college experience now.

“When you spend four years staying up long hours to finish labs and studying for seemingly impossible tests, you forge special bonds with people. It’s not like larger colleges where there are hundreds of people in your major. At MSOE, I have had conversations with every student in my major and have worked closely with nearly all of them. I value those relationships and that’s made possible because of the incredible culture at MSOE.”

Vlaisavljevich hopes to either work in medical device sales or a dream job for him would be at Boston Scientific, because of the strides the company has been making with stent performance.

Besides his love for hockey, Vlaisavljevich enjoys spending time with his family at their cabin on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota. There he enjoys fishing, hunting and relaxing with family.

“If you are an underclassman reading this, I would like to offer you one piece of advice. Cherish every moment you have here at MSOE because, as I sit here, I realize my senior year is coming to an end and it sounds cliché but, it’s gone by in the blink of an eye.”