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Penn football rising junior Sam Philippi is splitting his time this summer between training and an internship at a law firm in Orange County, California.

Credit: Ananya Chandra , Ananya Chandra

It’s finally June, and you know what that means: your internship at Goldman Sachs is finally starting!

Many athletes wearing the Red and Blue will trade in their uniforms for suits and ties during the summer for a 10-week crash course of knowledge and experience in various industries such as finance, engineering, medicine and technology.

But just because an athlete may have an internship doesn’t mean their normal commitments as a college athlete are ending.

In fact, the summer is one of the most important times of the year for athletes to train.

“Summer training is one of the most important parts about football,” defensive back Sam Philippi said. “The harder I train during the summer, the better I will be when we get back in August.”

“Summer training [for track & field] is very important,” high-jumper Anna-Peyton Malizia added. “It is important to stay in shape and prepare for preseason in the fall.”

Like many Penn athletes, Philippi and Malizia love their respective sports and love to compete—but both acknowledged the importance of getting experience at an internship over the summer, as well as how many of their teammates are doing the same.

“I decided to do an internship to gain experience in the work place, to put something significant on my resume, and to make money as well,” said Philippi, who will be a clerk at a law firm in Newport Beach, California. “A lot of guys on the football team are doing what I’m doing [an internship], pretty much everyone,” he said.

“I decided to do an internship so that I could acquire some experience and see if I am interested in the consulting field, specifically healthcare consulting,” said Malizia, who is interning at a biotech and pharmaceutical consulting company in Philadelphia. “A lot of my teammates are either doing internships or taking summer classes while training.”

For athletes, having an internship in the summer is not too different from being a student during the school year. During the school year, athletes balance their time between studying and competing, whereas during an internship they must balance their time between working and finding time to train.

Typically, athletes settle into a routine and use the early morning or evening as their time to train and practice.

Philippi follows a similar routine to his football routine at Penn.

“During the week, I wake up around 5:30 a.m., get to the gym around 6:30, work out until 7:45, then get to work by 8:30 and work until 5 p.m.,” he described.

Malizia, on the other hand, finds the afternoon better for her own training.

“I am working out after my internship each day. I see myself being more physically efficient later in the day,” she observed.

Probably, the biggest difference in summer training is that everything is done individually.

In season, athletes work out, practice, and compete with their whole teams every single day. Ultimately, it isn’t structured that way to make the team spend every waking moment together or to make them all be best friends—it’s to have them push one another to get better day in and day out. Many of the best college coaches, regardless of the sport, will tell you the best teams come from cultures where this internal “push” is alive not just during competition, but in practice and in the weight room as well.

Not having the “push” from teammates is one of the hardest parts about doing your training on one’s own in the summer—athletes have to push themselves to be better without the presence of their teammates around them.

But that doesn’t mean athletes can’t get creative and try to simulate that push in other ways.

Living in Orange County, California, Philippi has the ability to train with other football players from the Los Angeles area to push him. They include players from Power 5 schools as well as incoming Penn QB Nick Robinson.

Since Malizia is spending her internship in Philadelphia, she has the luxury of building chemistry with many of her teammates while she trains and looks to improve.

“It [having teammates around] is nice for training purposes since we can all be together,” she said.

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Philippi and Malizia are just two of the many Penn athletes who have internships this summer. While now they are dressing well, preparing for their future career paths and training, they will be more than ready to don the Red & Blue and compete as soon as they step back on campus.

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