Senior Olivia Schmidt has a strong passion for athletic training. She’s known since high school that her dream would be to one day return to her alma mater and take on the same role that once cared for her as a student-athlete, and she had the plan to make it happen.
“When I graduated from Beech High School, I knew I wanted to be an Athletic Trainer, so I specifically chose to come to Cumberland for the Athletic Training Program,” said Schmidt. “Attending practices and games as a student in the athletic training program was what I looked forward to most. Whether I was going to baseball practice in 30 degree weather or standing on the sidelines on Saturdays in the fall, I knew I’d love every second of it.”
And that she did. Schmidt spent her time at CU learning what it meant to be an athletic trainer in the classroom and on the field, literally, as she put her skills to the test in multiple clinical rotations at the high school and collegiate level.
There, she was able to build relationships with the student athletes she trained and receive an abundance of networking opportunities.
The bonds she made during her clinicals were just some of the long lasting friendships she made while at CU.
“Since CU is a smaller school, the athletic training department is like one big family,” said Schmidt. “I loved knowing that help or advice was always one phone call away. The staff pushed me to do my best work in the classroom and challenge me in clinical settings, which ultimately helped me to pass my board of certification exam to become a certified athletic trainer.”
“Sara Farris was a great mentor to me, and I knew I could always count on her for an answer when I asked her the most random athletic training questions.”
Schmidt spent her time outside of her classes and clinicals as an active member of Alpha Sigma Tau where she reveled in the endless opportunities for creating new friendships.
“Sophomore year I joined AST and it ended up being one of the best decisions I made while at CU,” said Schmidt. “I always told myself I wasn’t girly enough to be in a sorority and that it just wasn’t for me. I mean, athletic trainer and sorority girl? It just didn’t match up to me, but I enjoyed every second of it. Greek life at CU is very unique and different from larger universities, so I really got to know my sorority sisters on a deeper level and formed relationships that will last way beyond my college years!”
If she could give any advice to an incoming freshman, Schmidt said that it would be to step out of your comfort zone and try new things at CU. Because she did just that, she’s graduating with much more than a degree.
Schmidt has accepted a graduate assistantship with Austin Peay State University after graduation and will be working for Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance as an athletic trainer at one of the high schools in Clarksville, Tenn.