After one semester as an Edinboro University student, Maya Fanazini is thankful for new opportunities.
Edinboro’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program paired with a graduate assistantship in the Business and Economics Department made Edinboro the perfect fit for Fanazini, a graduate of Fairview High School in Erie County.
In addition to growing up in the region, both of Fanazini’s parents are Edinboro University alumni.
“I always thought of Edinboro as an option for me,” said Fanazini, who graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2020. “I really love the master’s program so far, and the Edinboro atmosphere is always something I appreciated.”
The former Fairview High School soccer standout completed her undergraduate degrees in Finance and Marketing along with a minor in Management from Mercyhurst, exceling both in the classroom and on the soccer field before opting to continue her academic career as a Fighting Scot.
Her graduate assistant position is centered on outreach and public relations to help alumni and the general public understand what an MBA from Edinboro can provide to students. It is an ideal role for Fanazini – who is unquestionably a people person – though COVID-19 has limited face-to-face interactions thus far.
A natural born leader who carries herself with great confidence, Fanazini was soccer obsessed from an early age.
“I started playing around the age of seven, but I really got serious about playing soccer during middle school playing club for the Erie Admirals,” she said.
There was a problem heading into high school for her as most of her club teammates were attending Mercyhurst Prep or Villa Maria Academy. She wanted to play high school soccer with her club friends, but her parents felt it was best for her to stay committed to attending high school at Fairview.
“Looking back, staying helped me get a great education and also gain a lot of exposure in soccer. I played and started all four years, and it helped me when it came to being seen by colleges and racking up some awards and recognition along the way.”
During her senior season at Fairview, Fanazini served as co-captain for the Tigers and was recognized as the Region 3 Player of the Year and an All-District 10 performer.
She went on to play in 63 games and scored eight goals at Mercyhurst, while dishing out five assists and leading the team in scoring as a junior. There, she met some of her closest friends, including a tight-knit group of seniors who represent the Lady Lakers women’s soccer class of 2020.
“A lot of my teammates are from Europe,” she said. “They are from various countries, but my bond and friendship with all of them is unbreakable.”
It was not always easy for this group as coaching changes and adversity ensued, but through it all, Fanazini’s love for soccer and focus on her future triumphed over any distractions and hardships she faced.
While she overcame challenges to become the soccer player she was and the person she is, there were two people who bet on her and believed in her from the beginning: her parents Monica and Ken Fanazini.
“All the extra money they had was spent and invested into me. They devoted so much time to allow me to play club soccer and go to various showcases. I will always be thankful for them, and earning the scholarship was for them.”
With her first semester at Edinboro wrapping up, Maya Fanazini has embraced a new chapter – preparing for a career in business. As of now, she hopes to work in a university setting in an athletic department while also working as an adjunct professor.
Photo courtesy of Mercyhurst Athletics. Submitted by Maya Fanazini.