Lehigh can be a challenge. Missy Capone knew this all too well, but that did not stop her as a student or an athlete. The two sport athlete with a double major in both Marketing and Supply Chain Management had a lot of determination. Her life at Lehigh helped mentally prepare her for the real world. Capone graduated from Lehigh in 2003 and went off into the working world. When she first found a job, it was a marketing position for a health club and spa in New Jersey. She hated every minute of it. It was time for a vacation. So off Capone went on a trip to Hawaii. It was a trip that would change her life.
While on her vacation to Hawaii, Capone made a connection at a Nike retail store. In a life changing decision, Capone decided to stay in Hawaii and leave the life she built in New Jersey after college. For the next year, Capone worked selling shoes for the store that helped transfer the idea of who she wanted to be in life.
After moving to Hawaii to work for a Nike retail store, Capone used her Lehigh degree to begin moving up within Nike’s corporation. As she continued to succeed, Capone made the move to Portland, Oregon, the home of Nike’s U.S. corporate headquarters. She is now the Category Marketing Manager for Nike Running in the US retail division.
A little luck and a lot of determination put Capone where she is today. “Figuring out what was going to make me happy and making tons of connections got me to where I wanted to be. It’s all about networking to be able to do what you love,” Capone said. That is exactly what she did. Capone now handles all the marketing efforts around the running category for Nike owned retail stores.
Capone used her hectic student athlete schedule to prepare her for the real world. She began her college career at Lehigh as a member of both the Cross Country and Track and Field program and the Swim team. She remained on the Cross Country and Track and Field program for two years before concentrating solely on her swimming career. “Lehigh was a very challenging place to be. As a student athlete we had to work twice as hard to maintain our grades and put in the hours training for our sport. Having a packed schedule like that at all times really prepared me to handle the workload I have now.”
“Figuring out what was going to make me happy and making tons of connections got me to where I wanted to be. It’s all about networking to be able to do what you love.”
At Lehigh, Capone swam in the 100, 200, 500 meter freestyle and all of the relays. Her four years at Lehigh were some of the best years of her life and she lived her dream of competing at a Division I level. The four year varsity letter winner still continues to hold the record in the 800 free relay. In her senior year at Lehigh, she broke the 100 meter freestyle record after missing it in the prelims but breaking it in the final. It was one of her more memorable moments here at Lehigh. She also helped her teammates break the 200 and 400 medley relay.
Capone was acknowledged her senior year for various awards at the Lehigh Athletics Honors Convocation. She won the women’s swimming and diving Coaches Award for her significant contributions and for her spirit, leadership and attitude toward the team. She was recognized by the Lehigh University Alumni Association and received the merit award and was also recognized by the Southside Boosters. Capone was also nominated for the Mary O. Hurley Award, an award given to a female Lehigh athlete who represents the Lehigh tradition of leadership, athleticism, service, sportsmanship, and good attitude.
Her commitment to the Lehigh Athletics program didn’t stop in the pool. Capone was President of the Student Athlete Council and a member of the COACH program. “It was really rewarding to be on the SAC board and try to improve the lives of student athletes. We really had a voice and fought hard to make things even better,” Capone said. Supporting the smaller programs goes a long way.
Even today Capone still competes. After college she continued training in the pool but also started running, cycling and doing Pilates. She now races in Triathlons and has competed in 2 marathons: Honolulu in 2004 and NYC in 2008.
Lehigh prepared Capone for life after college. “Being a member of a team is something so special and seeing the potential each individual has when you all work hard toward the same goal is extraordinary. It’s something that can’t be taught. You have to experience it and really give 100% every day. I try and do that each day in the workplace.” Lehigh has helped her learn so much about herself and what she wants out of life. It is given her the determination to be who she wants to be and has given her friends who she can call family. “My four years at Lehigh were some of the best of my life.”
Story written by Lindsey Corbetta ‘09