The Brown and White caught up with three rowing alumni to discuss their Lehigh careers and what they've been up to post-graduation. (COURTESY OF LEHIGH SPORTS)

Q&A: Catching up with women’s rowing alumni

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The Brown and White spoke with three rowing alumni — Jenny DiPietro, ‘19, Allison Connors, ‘20, and Sara Salvo, ‘19, — to discuss their favorite Lehigh memories and achievements since graduation.

Q: What are you currently doing professionally? 

Jenny DiPietro: I work for Kiki Vodka Company. I started in the fall of 2019 and am titled as an account manager working mostly in sales. Since the start of 2017 the company is looking for a new perspective to use marketing as a tool to get the brand out there.” 

Allison Connors: I am working at TRI-K Industries, a chemical company in the Cosmetics industry. I help with promotion and social media for companies that make hair and skin care products.

Sara Salvo: I am currently in my second semester of law school at Drexel University. I pull a lot from the team at Lehigh to law school, mainly the difference of being a teammate and friend. It translates to the legal world because there’s a difference of taking out a client and promising them exactly what they want versus taking out a client and advocating on their behalf doing the best you can no matter the result.   

Q: What was your favorite Lehigh rowing memory?

JD: The Patriot League Championship my junior year was the first year Lehigh women’s rowing placed, and two of the boats got bronze. I wasn’t in either of the boats, but it was awesome to see those girls who looked up to me as a leader succeed and achieve that accomplishment for the program.  

AC: My sophomore year we had two boats medal at The Patriot League Championships. It was a wonderful time and great highlight for the team. 

SS: My junior year, my boat was the first in Lehigh history to medal at the Patriot League Championships.”  

Q: How has Lehigh shaped you into the person you are today?

JD: As a Marketing Major, the core classes I took at Lehigh really helped. As a startup company, you have to play all the roles as a business so I am involved in every field whether it be operations, deliveries or supply chain. Taking a wide range of classes definitely benefited me.

AC: Holding yourself accountable when eyes are on you and when they are not has carried over. Training on your own is similar to working at home because at your office there isn’t someone peering over your shoulder.

 SS: In the environment, I am in now, everything is hypercompetitive. You are graded on a curve so it doesn’t matter how the class does it matters how you do versus everyone else. I learned how to handle stress and time management at Lehigh.   

Q: Coming up on a year of the pandemic what have you learned about yourself throughout this time?

JD: Once the shutdown occurred, as a company we had to brainstorm new ways to make due. It allowed me to prove myself working in marketing and social media, building campaigns gaining trust from the company.  

AC: I have taken up reading throughout the pandemic. I didn’t have a lot of time to read for fun at college, so that has been great. I also continued to work out which surprised me because I expected myself to get lazy.

SS: Something I learned about myself was that I need to be on a schedule. I kind of knew that at Lehigh, but it was reaffirmed here. I don’t cut myself off at a certain time. I keep working and there is always more work to do which I found to be unhealthy. I tried to get more into running because I miss the therapeutic aspect, and a new hobby I picked up was making candles.”

Q: What do you miss most about rowing and how has it shaped you to compete?

 JD: The job I was hired for is sales driven. I am on a salary based commission, so whatever I can do to get more sales is important. Rowing has helped me build the platform of competing as a student-athlete.

AC: My teammates. I haven’t seen them in a long time and I miss the people. I really miss rowing so I try not to think about it. It’s always so great to have the first nice great day of spring time to practice with my teammates.

SS: I definitely miss my teammates hands down. I miss popping over to anyone’s house to say, “hi” and the camaraderie we shared. I always felt calm out on the water regardless of how hard we were working. It’s very hard to duplicate it when I don’t have as easy access to just hop on the water.

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