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Canisius High School grad Mike Devine was a standout at Dartmouth College.

BY: Matthew Ondesko, Community Papers of WNY Editor | May 02, 2011

Four years ago Mike Devine was the starting goaltender for the Dartmouth Big Green hockey team.

Now he is working for Credit Suisee out of New York City.

Man, how things have changed.

“I worked at GE Capital in a leadership program they offer to recent college grads,” stated Devine recently from New York City. “I moved to Credit Suisse and now sell emerging market fixed income products. I’m based out of New York City.”

Talking to Devine a few years back, he told me how he wanted to give professional hockey a shot, before he had to settle down and get a ‘real’ job.

Well, the hockey things never really panned out for the Orchard Park native and Canisius High School graduate.

“I wish,” he said when asked about if he played hockey after college. “I looked at playing pro, but the right opportunity never materialized. I went to the (Buffalo) Sabres rookie camp my junior year and had high hopes, but things never fell into place. I was offered the opportunity to play in the ECHL, but I made the decision to put the pads away and see what else was out there. The decision has worked out extremely well for me so far, but I’ll always wonder what would have happened had I given it a shot.”

While the hockey is still is a love and passion for Devine, he knew the education he received while at Dartmouth would pay off sooner or later down the road.

And knowing he had an Ivy League diploma to fall back on helped ease the transition – at least a little.

“It (my diploma) helped me to get my foot in the door at both of the employers I’ve had,” said Devine. “It’s not a guarantee in any way, but it has definitely played a major role in getting interviews. There are a lot of other elements that affect the process, but the degree has definitely been a good foot in the door.”

And just think there was no guarantee that Devine was even going to go to Dartmouth.

In fact, if it wasn’t for a break out year with the Lightning, things could be different right now for him.

But, he had a great year and then everything started to fall into place.

“Dartmouth was the only DI program to take me seriously as a recruit,” stated Devine. “I was talking with DIII schools, but I knew I wanted to give DI a shot. I was prepared to play another year of juniors to try and make that happen, but luckily Dartmouth gave me a chance. I can’t thank the coaching staff there enough, particularly Dave Peters and Bob Gaudet. I was probably one of the easiest recruits they ever had.”

While getting to chance to play at Dartmouth was one thing, getting a chance to afford to go was another.

At the Ivy League schools they don’t offer athletic scholarship – so the student has to find ways to pay for his education. At Dartmouth the bill is around $55,386 a year.

“Dartmouth works very hard to make sure that every student who gains admission, athlete or not, has the opportunity to attend,” he said. “They provide grants, scholarships and aid to those who qualify, and I qualified.”

Also, in his corner, was a family that knew the value on an Ivy League education and they would o anything to make this dream a reality.

“As soon as Dartmouth asked me to commit, my parents basically said they would do anything to make sure I could go there,” he said. “The aid package Dartmouth set us up with gave me the chance to go, and I can’t thank my parents enough for never making me feel like that would be an issue.”

While Devine had all the pressure of being a student-athlete and putting up with the rigor of academic life and the financial pressures that come with going to an Ivy League institution, he said he would still do it again.

“I can’t speak for other Ivies, but Dartmouth was an absolutely incredible experience,” he said. “The guys I played with, the people I met, the friends I made the experiences I had both on and off the ice; those are things I’ll remember the rest of my life. The quality of people I was lucky enough to surround myself with at Dartmouth was unbelievable. I cannot possibly say enough about that school. It’s a special place.”

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