Emily Snodgrass was a creative writing major and all-conference softball player at Columbia University.

Photo Credit: COLUMBIA ATHLETICS - Emily Snodgrass begginning her run from first base to second base during her senior season on the Columbia University softball team.

Canby alumna Emily Snodgrass achieved sterling success cracking the bat on the softball diamond and working her imagination in the creative writing and English departments at Columbia University. But based on her areas of interest in college, her career path after college might seem to have come out of left field.

After graduating and moving back to Canby from New York recently, Snodgrass decided firefighting is her newfound calling and was accepted into the Marion County Fire Department training program. She’s currently awaiting the start of the program.

“I’ve always liked physical work and working in teams. I’m excited to have a job where I can make a difference, help people and give back a little bit,” she said.

Snodgrass says she felt inspired driving past a local fire department every morning on the way to school. And she believes her athletic experience will help her make the transition a smooth one.

“I’m a fitness nut and it’s a very physical job. I’ve to take a physical test to make sure I’m capable with a hose. Being in shape is a critical part of fire fighting,” she said.

At Columbia, Snodgrass was named an honorable mention Ivy League infielder her junior and senior year, batted over .300 three of her four years and finished her career with 171 hits, the third most in Columbia history.

Additionally, Snodgrass was recently named to the 2013/14 Ivy League academic team.

“I was most proud of the fact that I was able to play softball four years and still come out of it with a pretty good GPA,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass says juggling between each rigorous commitment “balanced itself.”

“I always had something going on. If I had a couple hours to do homework, I’d do homework. I always have a book to read on the bus or in a hotel room. Being an athlete really forces you to manage time well,” she said.

Snodgrass released the stresses accompanying Ivy League softball and academic pressures on the tip of her pen.

“I can get my emotions out in writing,” she said.

Snodgrass wrote about a medley of different topics, but was most proud of a crime story about a kidnapping she wrote a couple of years ago.

“It started out as a mess, but I expanded it from 12 to 30 pages. I ended up getting an A in the workshop. Eventually, I got it to where I wanted it to be,” she said.

Snodgrass didn’t decide to turn her writing chops into an occupation because she says she would’ve only been qualified to write technical writing professionally.

However, she still hopes to write a book one day and says she will continue to write on the side.

“It’s definitely a hobby I enjoy and makes me happy,” she said.

Though she admits to being a tad tired of softball, she hopes to join an adult fast pitch league eventually.

For Snodgrass, the fact that college is over has yet to sink in.

She said: “I still feel like I’m in college, but starting this program will help me make the transition into adulthood.”

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