Senior Zachariah Smith to bike across Europe after graduation

Wed, 2009-05-06 13:21 -- univcomm
May 6, 2009

A typical Anderson University student sees May as graduation month and a time to start their career. Some may travel with Tri-S, others move back home or to a new city, still be job hunting, or pursue a graduate degree.

zsmithSenior Zachariah Smith, a computer science-math major, was fortunate to know before starting his senior year he had a job waiting for him in Arkansas at corporate headquarters for Walmart.

During his sophomore year, Smith was looking for a summer job. While searching, his friend Danni Sorey, a 2009 graduate along with Smith, connected Smith with her dad, Steve, a 1978 alum who works in the Information Systems Division at Walmart. After interning for 12 weeks before his junior year, Smith was asked to return in the summer of 2008 and was offered a position as a software developer in August 2008.

Since connecting with Smith and fellow 2009 graduate, John Rigsby, with internship opportunities, Sorey has visited the computer science department during the academic year in hopes of offering more student internships at Walmart.

Searching for a different experience before moving away from his hometown of Indianapolis, Ind., to start his career August 17, Smith decided to plan a biking trip across Europe.

“My dad [Mark Smith, 1980 AU graduate] took a similar trip after his graduation for a few months with his friend Dave Fuller [AU 1980 graduate] and it was something I wanted to experience as well,” said Smith.

In past summers, Smith spent time with his dad and other friends biking around Indianapolis from 30 to 50 miles in a day. For his trip in Europe, Smith has a goal of 100 miles a day but believes he will average between 50 and 75 miles.

To plan out his biking trip, Smith received help from department of history chair, Dr. David Murphy, and director of international education, Willi Kant.

“I planned the trip around the dates of the Tour de France so I could see part of the race,” said Smith.

With the help of Google Maps to plan out his trip, Smith will be able to view the Tour de France at the finish line, July 26. He will be flying into London on June 11 and will travel to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and France. Smith hopes to spend the last part of his trip in Ireland if time permits before returning to Indianapolis August 7.

During his trip, Smith’s dad will be joining him for two weeks while his cousin, AU freshman Jacob Lockhart, will join him for part of the trip.

Currently, Smith has been biking trails in Anderson and running to train for the trip and plans to start training daily after graduation.

Stefanie Leiter is Web Content Manager at Anderson University.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.