The NCAA places a strong emphasis on the importance of the classroom, reminding its student-athletes each year most "Will go pro in something other than sports." During the summer, Ohio State rowers, senior Lindsey Titus and junior Emily Ralph, continued to play double duty as student-athletes. Both trained hard in their off season while holding internships to further their knowledge in their future careers.
Ralph traveled to Detroit, Mich., to work for GM in the Active Safety Electronics group, while Titus worked with both Human Rights First and Kinghorn, Hilbert, and Associates in Washington D.C.
With the work day starting by 8 a.m., both needed to find time to work out and stay fit for the upcoming season. For Ralph it was a 5:15 a.m. wake up call that did the trick. She would hit the gym for a morning cardio workout and practice on the erg machine before heading to work. After the work day was complete at 5 p.m., it was back to the gym three days a week for weight lifting. Titus combined sightseeing with her workout. After work every day she would choose a different historical monument to run to. Afterwards she would hit the gym for weight training.
Each and every athlete understands the importance of academics while at Ohio State. This is why many train just as hard off the field as they do on the field to prepare for life after athletics. Titus and Ralph understand the importance of academics, each receiving Ohio State scholar-athlete accolades each year of their careers at Ohio State.
"Most college athletes will not go pro and get paid to solely be an athlete," Titus said. "This is especially apparent in a sport like rowing, which doesn't have nearly the following other college sports do. The 'student' part of 'student-athlete' is equally, if not more important, than the 'athlete' portion."
Ralph worked on applying the knowledge she has learned in mechanical engineering while working on the side blind zone feature of GM vehicles this summer. Ralph's responsibilities included many tasks such as feature testing, writing technical specifications, coordinating the building of a mule vehicle and working to see which future GM vehicles were compatible with the feature through packaging studies.
The lessons Ralph learned this summer apply further than just the sciences of engineering.
"The biggest lesson I took away from my internship was the importance of networking and communication skills; they're both extremely important when you have to coordinate a project across multiple suppliers and departments," Ralph said.
For Titus choosing to study political science was a no brainer.
"Political science was the obvious choice of a major since I've always had an interest in government and politics," Titus said. "I've wanted to be a lawyer since I was younger. I added strategic communication as a double major because I felt communication skills would be valuable to any profession."
Working with two different organizations while in D.C., Titus juggled her days between the two.
"I spent my Mondays and Tuesdays interning at Human Rights First, a non-profit, nonpartisan human rights organization, and my Thursdays and Fridays at Kinghorn, Hilbert, and Associates, a political advocacy firm," Titus said.
Titus' responsibilities at her internship differed greatly from those of Ralph. Typical assignments included research, drafting, database entry, case study work, event staffing and preparation, media research, press material preparation, or editing and proofing.
"My two internships, one for a non-profit and the other for a private firm, offered me two different perspectives on political advocacy and taught me how to refine and improve my communication skills in a political atmosphere," Titus said. "I was looking for an internship that could combine both interests of my majors."
With the fall practice schedule winding down, the duo are still continuing the daily grind of class and practice. Titus and Ralph both continue to focus on the river and in the classroom so one day they can go pro in the profession of their choice.