BEYOND THE CLASSROOM: Graduate student hits home run with internship

Sep 13, 2013 | Education and Human Sciences, General News

Louisiana Tech faculty members encourage students to seek and obtain internships in order to help them prepare for their career path after college. Many students take advantage of the various internship opportunities. This is the sixth part of a six-part series highlighting Louisiana Tech students and their internship experiences.
For Louisiana Tech graduate student Zachary Voss, knowing the right people helped him land the right internship.
Voss, who is working on his master’s in kinesiology, worked as a strength coach with the Minnesota Twins minor league baseball team this summer. He said he received the internship partly because of his connection with Tech.
“I had previously known the Twins minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, Erik Beiser, because he also received his master’s from Tech,” Voss said, “but it really came when the person who had this position last year told Erik about me when he was not going to take the job again. It really came about from knowing the right people.”
Based on his relationship with Beiser, Voss started his first internship.
“I was excited about being away from home on my own as it would be a great time to pretty much grow up and become more organized and self sufficient,” Voss said. “It was intimidating at first, but it has been a huge growth opportunity like I had anticipated.”
Beiser said he had looked forward to bringing in Voss to work for the Twins.
“When I found out Zach was interested in our opportunity we had available, I was extremely excited to bring in another product of (kinesiology professor) Dr. David Szymanski,” he said. “This year in the Minnesota Twins Strength Department, there are three of us, including myself, who went to Louisiana Tech and studied under Dr. Szymanski. I know the principles of strength and conditioning that Zach learned from Dr. Szymanski, which made it an easy decision to bring him on board with us.”
Part of Voss’s duties included conditioning pictures, documenting his work, weighing-in players and communicating with the staff while leading by example.
“Going in to the internship I was open and willing to learn as much as I could in the short months of the summer, and it has not come up short in that department,” he said. “One of the biggest things I have learned during this internship is that communication and dealing with other staff and personnel is the most important thing that I can work with on a daily basis.”
Beiser said communication was critical for Voss’s job.
“We have to communicate on a daily basis about our players,” Beiser said. “Also, since Zach designs players’ workouts and conditioning routines, he needs to have a strong line of communication with the coaching staff. He needs to know when players are going to be pitching that night; also, he needs to know when players aren’t going to pitch that night so he can design different programs for those individuals. Finally, he needs to communicate with the players. He needs to be able to read players and be able to talk to players about how they are feeling.”
Voss said he plans to pursue a Ph.D. or continue working in the sports performance field after graduation.
“The biggest thing that I have learned during my internship is most likely just working with different personalities and communicating effectively with them all the way through my experiences,” Voss said. “I have to deal with different athletes personalities and even other people on the staff I work with. That will come in handy because I will be teaching classes in the kinesiology department and will also be working with other graduate assistants and professors in the department.”