Leonor Oliveira

Bridging Borders and Balancing Tennis

February 27, 2024
Leonor Oliveira finds academic and athletic harmony at University of Richmond.

Written by Sofiia Mikadze, '24

Leonor Oliveira joined the Women's Tennis team at the University of Richmond in her junior year. A transfer student from the University of Tulsa, Oliveira found in Richmond a perfect community where she could blend her athletic and academic aspirations.

Transitioning from her home in Portugal to the U.S. marked a significant shift for Oliveira, who was homeschooled and deeply entrenched in her tennis regimen. The vibrant community at Richmond, coupled with its renowned business school and supportive coaching staff, quickly helped her adjust.

When Oliveira was younger, she unveiled her creative and entrepreneurial spirit through ventures like crafting and selling handmade goods and found an interest in studying marketing at UR. Richmond's small class sizes and stellar faculty provided the ideal environment for her to grow with the support of her peers, teammates, and professors.

Embracing the dynamic landscape of marketing, Oliveira embarked on a summer internship at Portuguese agency EuroM, delving into marketing research, analytics, and creative ideation for esteemed clients like Mondelez and Canon. This hands-on experience, coupled with her classroom learning, illuminated the real-world applications of her marketing skills.

Now, as Oliveira approaches graduation, she is open to a variety of marketing opportunities, although she finds the intersection of marketing and fashion particularly interesting. She is thrilled and ready to use her skills and experiences to communicate brand identity and captivate audiences in her future career. 

Tennis has instilled the discipline to adhere to schedules and the power to navigate challenges with grace. Amidst the rigors of collegiate sports and the pursuit of career goals, Oliveira emphasizes the importance of mental health and seeks solace in Richmond's supportive community and resources.

Reflecting on her journey, Oliveira acknowledges the transformative nature of her experiences at Richmond. "Back home, I couldn't dream of having an experience like this," she says. Tennis has afforded her the opportunity to pursue her passions while honing her marketing acumen, embodying the essence of holistic growth and fulfillment.

As Oliveira charts her course beyond college, she remains loyal to her love for tennis and fueled by her passion for marketing. With each tennis serve and marketing project, she continues to redefine success on her own terms, embodying the strong spirit of a student-athlete.