Catching up with women’s tennis alumni-Brown and White
The Brown and White spoke to three tennis alumni – Grace Lin, 19, Kirstin Godau, 18, and Jamie Campisi, 17 – to reflect on their years at Lehigh and see what they have accomplished since graduating.
Q: What are you doing for a living or with tennis?
Grace Lin: I started working two weeks after graduation, so it was a quick turnaround. I’m hiring at a law firm in San Francisco. It was a really great experience, that was nice. We’ve been out of the way since March, but luckily my company was able to provide us with all the resources we need to work effectively from home and I’m definitely grateful to have a job now. As for tennis, I haven’t really played since my last game in April just because I started working straight away. Before COVID, I was commuting so I didn’t have that much time for it, but I tried to stay active by just doing other types of workouts like running, yoga, and other things that aren’t necessarily tennis-specific. That was pretty nice because I feel like so much of my time was just devoted to tennis, but I’m looking forward to playing again and hopefully joining a league once things settle down.
Jamie Campisi: In terms of tennis, there wasn’t much. Right after graduating from Lehigh, I started studying law. I graduated from Lehigh in May 2017 and started my law degree in September 2017. I just graduated from law school in May and am an employee of a New Jersey Supreme Court Justice.
Kirstin Codes: Tennis, I just play for fun, nothing professional or official. In terms of job and work, I am currently an auditor at PWC, PricewaterhouseCoopers. I’ve been working there since graduating from Lehigh in 2018.
Q: What are your favorite Lehigh tennis memories?
GL: I think I had a lot of great memories of Lehigh Tennis. I just meet a lot of people, all of my teammates, they’re all lifelong friends. I think one of the most memorable moments for me was my sophomore year. We had the Patriot League tournament in Lehigh, which was very special. My parents and sister could come out and watch. Just literally dropping all of my friends and co-workers over to Goodman and watching was really nice. I feel lucky knowing that not every athlete can have this tournament at home because it rotates.
JC: Just the camaraderie that you have with your best friends every day, driving the van, having breakfast before the game or eating out afterwards. As wonderful as the competition was, and it was certainly such a highlight, to be able to represent Lehigh at a conference like the Patriot League with so many great schools was a real honor and a privilege. Certainly the time with my team-mates, and then I had really spectacular coaches who are still there. Really, people definitely made it the really wonderful experience it was. Also, the competitive gene definitely lacks the ability to put on a uniform and compete against other schools in an actual sport. “
KG: I would probably say the Patriot League tournament is my senior year just because in my opinion, in terms of our skills as a tennis team from my four years at Lehigh, it was our strongest team in terms of talent, cohesion, collaboration and mutual support. Even though we didn’t win, that was probably the day we played best as a team, supported each other and cheered each other on. I would also say it was bittersweet because it was our last game on the team, but I would say that this was probably my favorite and best memory. “
Q: Are there lessons you learned from your time on the tennis team that still help you in life today?
GL: Just in general kind of looking back at the people I met through Lehigh Tennis. They are lifelong friends and I am still in touch with everyone. I think that was one of the special parts of Lehigh tennis, just the people. Competitive tennis ends once you graduate, but it’s the people who stay beyond that. I think a life lesson in general is learning a lot about time management, discipline and the ability to adapt quickly as a college sports student. I think this really helped me after college and in my job. Just being able to interact with people, thinking quickly on my feet. I think that helped me a lot and just the dynamics of the teamwork. I work pretty well with my team, I really enjoy my department and I think we all work very well together. I think a lot of the teamwork from tennis carried over to my professional life, even though it had nothing to do with sports. “
KG: I would say that in general, being on a team, a sports team, and the college atmosphere is very helpful. Even after you’ve graduated from college and knowing that everyone does group projects in class, you work on a sports team with other people. That doesn’t go on until you start in the business world and whatever you do, you are most likely not doing anything independently or without the help of other people. In my work in particular, as it is structured, you are on specific teams where you may be working on your own subset or part of the work, but together you are working towards a broader goal. At least for tennis it is because in doubles there is a partner that you play with, but when you play singles you technically compete yourself, but you also compete for the broader group for the team.
Q: What did you do during the pandemic?
JC: My last semester of law school was out of the way, and I never got a degree because of all that. As I said, I am now a clerk for a New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. After that, I’ll be joining a large law firm and that could possibly be postponed but definitely work remotely and work for a Supreme Court judge I have probably seen in person. Definitely lots of video calls, lots of emails, but definitely not affecting anything too much. You learn to adapt and adapt, and I think this is one thing that athletics definitely helps a lot with. I can even say that I learned this from my time at Lehigh, about tennis and how I can adapt. You are making the most of the situation that lies ahead of you. I would certainly like to be in a normal setting and not in the middle of a global pandemic, but I think it turned out to be good.
KG: In terms of work that I haven’t had in the office, I still work remotely and probably will be for a while. Of course it’s an adjustment for everyone, but I think my communication skills have definitely improved because it’s not as easy as yours – in the office or wherever you are. You can’t go up to someone and ask them a question. You need to be organized, schedule time with people, and be precise and to the point. I think it helped improve communication in this aspect and even budgeted the time and challenged my skills and mindset to separate work from my everyday life. You do not physically separate from where you live and work. That was an adjustment, but different from that, that’s it from a COVID perspective.