DCTC Student Spotlights: Hasib Subasic and Mersed Subasic

Mersed Subasic and Hasib Subasic

Twin brothers majoring in Exercise & Sport Science and Graphic Design Technology

Twin brothers, Hasib Subasic and Mersed Subasic, are enrolled at Dakota County Technical College in two different majors. Hasib is majoring in Exercise & Sport Science with the goal to graduate in May 2025 with his A.A.S degree. Mersed is earning an A.A.S. in Graphic Design Technology; he also plans on graduating next spring.

Mersed Subasic

Mersed and Hasib are both graduates of Eden Prairie High School, Class of 2021. They are CPR/AED and First Aid certified. Hasib has already earned a Software Development diploma at DCTC; Mersed will be completing his diploma in that program this year.

“I plan on getting a job as a graphic designer,” Mersed said. “I want to work either as a UX/UI website designer or page layout designer.”

Hasib is an accomplished natural bodybuilder who competed successfully at Clash of the Titans last fall in Bloomington, Minnesota (see below to learn more). He is looking forward to a career as a personal trainer with his own personal trainer business. “I also want to train bodybuilders to compete in bodybuilding,” he said.

Born in New Hope, Minnesota, the 21-year-old brothers have a very strong connection to Bosnia and Herzegovina, informally known as Bosnia, a country with more than 3.4 million people on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. Their dad, Nezir, and mom, Nihada, are Bosnian natives.

Hasib Subasic

“In 1992 my parents were kicked out of their home because of the Bosnian War,” Hasib said. “They went to a safe area where they could stay. They could not go back home because it was now in enemy territory. My parents became refugees in their own country. Around that time, the USA had a program where you could apply for your Green Card and become a citizen. They got their cards and moved to Minnesota with my older sister, Ena, in 2001. My brother and I were born in 2003.”

Hasib added that his family would go on to visit Bosnia every two years for a couple of months.

“Then in 2009, my parents decided to move back for a few years,” he said. “My brother and I learned Bosnian, got to know our family members, met a bunch of friends, and went to school in Bosnia from first to fourth grade. In 2013, we moved back to Minnesota so that my brother and I could get a better education and have a better life. But we still visit Bosnia every summer for two to three months.”


Mersed reported that when he and Hasib moved back to the U.S. at age 10 the main challenge he encountered was relearning the language. “I still knew how to speak English, but not using the language for four years caused me to forget some of it.”

Like his brother, Mersed misses his family the most in the home country of his parents. “I miss everything about Bosnia,” he said, “but luckily my family and I have the privilege to travel there every year in the summer. We spend nearly three months every summer in Bosnia. We own a house and an apartment in Bosnia, so it doesn’t feel like you’re going on a vacation or break—it feels like you’re going home. You go straight to your own house and your own bed. We have no family in the states; everybody lives in Bosnia except my parent’s sister and brother. Going over there and visiting everybody is the best feeling.”

Also like his brother, Mersed considers Neum, Bosnia’s only town on the Adriatic Sea, as one of his favorite places in Bosnia. Neum is a picturesque tourist destination with several large tourist hotels, lofty hills, and stony-sand beaches.

More about the twins…

Mersed and Hasib

Both brothers work while attending DCTC. Hasib has a 20-hour-a-week job as a head lifeguard, lifeguard instructor (LGI), and water safety instructor (WSI) at the Eden Prairie Community Center Aquatics Center.

“I’ve been working at the Aquatics Center for about seven years,” he said. “I learned a lot there. I learned how to be a leader and how to teach and help others. I learned responsibility and many other things.”

Mersed also works at the Aquatics Center in virtually the same roles. “I have experience teaching and leading a large group of people as a lifeguard instructor,” he related. “I teach people of multiple ages about lifeguarding, CPR/AED, and first aid. Also, as a head lifeguard and lesson supervisor, I guide a large group of guards and instructors to be efficient and ready for the day.”

In their free time, Mersed and Hasib enjoy going to the gym and playing soccer and video games with their friends. They reside in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Hasib Subasic and natural bodybuilding

In October 2023, Hasib competed in the Classic Physique Division at Clash of the Titans at Thomas Jefferson High School in Bloomington. Clash of the Titans is a drug-free North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation (NANBF) amateur show, an International Pro Elite (IPE) pro show, and an IPE Pro Worlds qualifying show. He placed first in three categories, Novice Tall, Novice Overall, and Open, earning his pro card in the latter.

Hasib with Ena

“Natural bodybuilding has two levels, amateur and pro,” Hasib explained. “To get your pro card, you must place first in the Amateur Open Division Category and pass the urine and polygraph tests to see if you are natural. Once you place first in open, you are eligible to become a natural professional bodybuilder.”

Hasib noted that once bodybuilders earn their pro cards, they are eligible to compete for money.

“IPE is just one federation you can compete in,” he said. “There are many federations out there, but your pro card does not transfer from federation to federation. On June 8 this year, I’ll be competing in Los Campeones Natural Cup, an Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders (OCB) show, at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington, but not as a pro because I haven’t won the open division in OCB.”

Hasib has yet to activate his pro card due to several factors. “The main reason is that I’m still young and just want to have fun in the sport of bodybuilding as an amateur,” he said. “I don’t want to stress over being perfect year-round, keeping my physique perfect for shows.”

Hasib Subasic Natural bodybuilding Q&A

What do you like best about natural bodybuilding?
The best thing about natural bodybuilding is that you stay healthy forever. Being an unnatural bodybuilder can do a lot of harm to your body from the steroids you use.

What do you do to train for an event?
Before the even start I take about 10 to 12 weeks to prep for the event. During those weeks, I drop my calories so I can lose fat, and I start training harder at the gym. Also, when I’m on prep, I do lots of cardio to help me lose more fat.

What are your future plans in the sport?
The plan is to do bigger shows like the Natural Olympia that is hosted every year—and get more recognition. Also, I want to help others to achieve their bodybuilding goals.

Faculty perspective: Sara Woodward

Sara Woodward

“To be successful in bodybuilding, you need dedication, discipline, resilience, and a strong work ethic. Hasib demonstrated all of these qualities in his competition prep and contest. He completed the many hours of hard work in the gym. He tracked the fuel he was putting into his body so he could get the most out of it.

“Hasib is an inspiration to me as well as to his classmates. To earn your pro card at such a young age is a major accomplishment that he should take pride in.”

Sara Woodward
Exercise & Sport Science Faculty
Dakota County Technical College

Hasib Subasic Q & A

Hasib Subasic

What motivated you to enroll in the Exercise & Sport Science program at DCTC?

I want to learn more about Exercise & Sport Science—and I hope this degree will help me with my future of bodybuilding and when I train other people.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What advice would you give students thinking about improving their health and physical fitness?

Some advice that I will give is to make long- and short-term goals. Also, you need to create a balanced diet. You should not eliminate all the foods you like. You can have everything in moderation. A lot of people start eating just rice, chicken, and broccoli for every meal. And they become unmotivated very fast.

Hasib Subasic Seven Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Soccer, working out
  2. Most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Compete in bodybuilding
  3. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Make sure my parents can retire 2) Help build schools, parks, and other things for our community in Bosnia 3) Buy a house on a beach and relax
  4. Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: Reacher Season 2 on Prime Video
  5. One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: Become successful and live comfortably
  6. Dream occupation: Professional bodybuilder
  7. Person you would most like to meet: Lionel Messi

Mersed Subasic Q & A

Mersed Subasic

What motivated you to enroll in the Graphic Design Technology program at DCTC?

I started as a Software Development major at DCTC and took some classes from the Graphic Design Technology program. One of the classes was UX/UI—that is where you make and build websites without coding, and I really enjoyed it. I also had other classes where we designed different things, and I enjoyed that, too. I will receive my Software Development diploma this year and my Graphic Design Technology A.A.S. in spring 2025.

What do you find most interesting about the Graphic Design Technology program?

What I find most interesting about graphic design is all the things you can make and design. Everybody in the program is so supportive and respectful of the work you do, all the instructors in the program are very supportive.

What is your favorite Adobe Creative Cloud application and why?

My favorite Adobe Creative Cloud application is Adobe Photoshop. It’s my favorite application to use because you can do so much with it—and it’s one of the applications I think I have gotten good at.

Three words that describe you as a college student:

What advice would you give students thinking about pursuing a degree in graphic design?

Some advice I would give is that if you’re a creative person and not sure what to do, graphic design is a great degree to go with because there are plenty of possibilities for careers. You can work as a web designer or illustrator, or in page layout, branding, animation, social media, anything you think of. In everything you see around you, there is a part of it that was designed by a graphic designer. Nearly every business/company needs a graphic designer.

What person has influenced your life the most and why?

The person who influences my life the most would be my sister. Her name is Ena, and she is going to be 26 years old in March. Ena has has Down syndrome. She is the best sister ever, and a lot of things I do, I do it for her.

When she was young, Ena went through a lot: she had heart surgery, and she is currently recovering from surgery on her left knee that she had done this past December. She had surgery on her right knee in December of 2022.

One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:


Mersed Subasic Seven Answers

  1. Favorite sport or physical activity: Soccer
  2. Place you would most like to visit: Japan
  3. Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) See that my parents can retire 2) Use it to help out in my hometown in Bosnia 3) Save it/invest it
  4. Best book or movie you’ve read or seen lately: There isn’t a recent movie or book, but I’m excited to see Deadpool & Wolverine
  5. One thing you most want to accomplish in your life: To live a healthy life and be a successful graphic designer
  6. Person you would most like to meet: Lionel Messi
  7. Skill you would most like to learn and master: Drawing
Learn more about Exercise & Sport Science and Graphic Design Technology at DCTC by contacting:

Room 2-110

More about Exercise & Sport Science

Exercise Science Transfer Pathway A.S.
Exercise & Sport Science A.A.S.

The Exercise & Sport Science program at DCTC  offers two different 60-credit degree awards: Transfer Pathway Associate in Science (A.S.) and Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.). Both programs include technical courses and general education courses. The A.S. degree prepares you for transfer to a four-year college or university. The A.A.S. degree prepares you to go directly into the workforce.

Both programs give you the knowledge and skills to work in the health, fitness and sport industries. Technical information is combined with liberal arts and sciences to train you to work effectively with a variety of clients in health and fitness settings.

The Transfer Pathway A.S. leads to more advanced degrees that provide opportunities for you to build a career in professional and amateur athletics. The U.S. alone is home to more than 150 major league sports franchises. More than 520,000 student-athletes participated in the NCAA in 2022. Just one high school sport—football—fields roughly 16,000 teams. DCTC offers NJCAA athletics in six sports: volleyball, softball, and soccer for women, and basketball, baseball, and soccer for men.

Earning your A.A.S. or A.S. degree gives you the skills and knowledge to land an entry-level position in the following occupations:

  • Fitness trainer
  • Coach
  • Scout
  • Personal trainer
  • Fitness consultant
  • Activity specialist
  • Aerobics instructor
  • Camp director
  • Athletic therapist
  • Sports facility manager
  • And more…

Personal Training certificate

This 16-credit  certificate program provides the student with hands-on, practical experience in the area of personal training. All courses are offered during fall semester. The course, EXER2020 Personal Training and Exercise Leadership I, is delivered in partnership with the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Earning this certificate will prepare you for the ACE Personal Training Certification Exam and the goal to become nationally certified personal trainer. DCTC provides discounts to national certification exams, but does not include the exam cost in tuition.

Exercise Physiologists

Design fitness programs to improve a variety of aspects of patients’ health.

This career pays above the statewide median wage of $24.25/hour.


Median: $31.24/hour
High: $38.41/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $33.04/hour
High: $39.77/hour


In Minnesota, there are 130 workers employed in this very small career. This career is currently in seeing very high growth (growth rate 13.1 percent in U.S.) compared to other careers.

There will be a need for about 241 new Exercise Physiologists to meet market demand between 2020–2030. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (March 12, 2024)

More about Graphic Design Technology

This associate degree program prepares you to explore, plan, design, and produce visual solutions to graphic design communications problems. Graphic designers work to discover the most effective way to communicate in print, web, and interactive media.

As a student in the program, you will develop skills and knowledge in design concepts, typography, layout, illustration, animation, web content, and computer software to create graphic designs for a variety of purposes.

As a trained graphic designer, you will perform much of your work on a computer. Graphic designers work closely with internal and external clients on advertising, marketing, and promotional projects for a range of organizations and businesses.

Job outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for graphic designers was nearly $58,000 in May 2022. Employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2022 to 2032—or about as fast as the average for all occupations.

“About 22,800 openings for graphic designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade,” the OOH reports. “Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.”

The OOH goes on to say, “Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and reports.”

Graphic Designers

Create and design graphics to promote a product or service.

This career pays above the statewide median wage of $24.25/hour.


Median: $30.18/hour
High: $37.08/hour

Seven-county Twin Cities metro

Median: $31.85/hour
High: $38.15/hour


In Minnesota, there are 5,400 workers employed in this medium-sized career. There will be a need for about 5,770 new Graphic Designers to meet market demand between 2020–2030. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

— Minnesota State CAREERwise Education (March 12, 2024)