Wednesday Wisdom | Houston Academy Alumni: Dr. Sebastian Heersink (’99)

February 3, 2021

Wisdom Wednesday by Houston Academy Alumni: Dr. Sebastian Heersink (’99).

This afternoon’s interview was conducted by the US Digital Media Team (Henry Walroth, Caleb Hubbard and Ava Henexson).

#WisdomWednesday Features Houston Academy Alumnus (‘99) Dr. Sebastian Heersink.

HA US DM: What was your most memorable highlight in your HA athletic career?

Dr. Heersink: So many great experiences through athletics – I learned discipline and persistence playing varsity basketball and we won many games where we had less size,speed, and talent because of discipline and effort both during the games but more importantly preparing in practice because coach Oppert was tough and fair.  The atmosphere and team spirit in Killingsworth gym was even more exciting than playing basketball in college. Also I had tons of pure fun playing soccer and scored a hat trick against St. James on all headers (including a break away header over their goalie) and their coach yelled ‘somebody stop that Ogre’.

HA US DM: How did you juggle academics, social life, and three sports at MIT?

Dr. Heersink: Juggling sports, social, and academics was a matter of dogged persistence and setting priorities.  HA prepared me well for the rigor and quantity of work at MIT because I was already used to working hard and working collaboratively.  I learned that hard work and a positive attitude will take you much farther than talent alone ever will. Don’t fall behind on  assignments or miss lectures because college courses move so fast that catching up was nearly impossible. Over half of my classmates were the valedictorian of their high school (Congratulations again to Marty Solomon), yet I still haven’t met a single person who didn’t struggle at MIT or graduate school.  My advice is to do the work, one step at a time and find a group of friends to share in the joys and sorrows of college and life, because the material you learn, the stress, and the exams will fade but the relationships  remain and are the most important thing I’ve taken with me.

HA US DM: What are some positives of being in your profession?

Dr. Heersink: Being a physician gives you the knowledge to care for your family and friends.  You hope that you never need to use it but my son would not be here today without the knowledge and training I got through becoming a physician.  We get to work for patients when they are scared and vulnerable and can impact them and their families lives in profound ways.  It’s hard work but it’s fulfilling and brings purpose and structure to our lives.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Thank you, Dr. Heersink, for interviewing with us!