April 19, 2017
Every Wednesday during the 2016-17 academic year, MGoBlue.com will highlight a different student-athlete and their academic path. These are our Scholar Stories.
By Andrew Krowitz
Senior Tyler Gardiner spends his days splitting time between hitting forehands at the Varsity Tennis Center and hitting the books at the Ross School of Business.
Gardiner is no stranger to competition. Growing up in nearby Novi, he was always attracted to the University of Michigan for a variety of reasons.
"The high level of academics and athletics was something I was really looking for," he said. "It was the perfect fit."
Gardiner has capitalized on the academic and athletic opportunities presented to him in his four years. The highlight of his career came last season when he and sophomore Myles Schalet combined to win a pair of doubles matches during the team's NCAA Tournament run.
"Last season as a whole was a great turnaround for Michigan tennis," he said. "Competing alongside my teammates and to see the improvement was really exciting."
When his tennis career concludes, Gardiner hopes to work in the finance sector. Last summer he interned with a private equity firm called Beringea in Farmington Hills doing investment analysis. This coming summer he will work at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Auburn Hills.
Gardiner has also been awarded for his pursuits in the classroom, as he has twice been named Academic All-Big Ten and will surely make it three later this spring.
"It's a huge honor to have the opportunity to represent Michigan," he said. "Being successful in the classroom as well while competing for the block M means a lot to me. I'm just honored to have received that acknowledgement."
Those close to Gardiner also notice the effort that he puts forth in all facets of life. During his three seasons at the helm, head coach Adam Steinberg has seen Gardiner grow as a student and as an athlete.
"Tyler has come a long way in his four years from when I arrived," said Steinberg. "He's really become a great team guy. He's a great example to the guys in how hard he works."
Gardiner is unsure if he would have the same drive and ambitions if it were not for his time on the team.
"I think playing a varsity sport at Michigan has taught me of the different values that will help me in life, like hard work and time management," he said. "Having to bring it every day on the court after a long day of class really teaches you how to be a hard worker and be a better person overall."
Steinberg is confident about all Gardiner's future aspirations and objectives.
"He's one of those guys that will be successful in any area of life that he goes into," he said. "You can see that he has clear goals and he's very disciplined in what he does. It's paying off on the court, and it's paying off in the classroom. From how he started to how he finished, it's a great story."
As his time at Michigan nears its end, Gardiner will always cherish everything that he has accomplished in Ann Arbor, both inside and away from the Varsity Tennis Center.
"These are the best four years of your life," he said. "Representing Michigan Athletics is a huge honor. Being able to work hard in the classroom is super important as well as representing the University in your respective sport."