Michela Paradiso, a four-year letterwinner for the Ohio State women’s soccer team from 2012-15, played in 84 career matches, including 78 starts for the Buckeyes. The Upper Arlington native concluded her Ohio State career fourth on the Ohio State career assist list with 18 to go along with 10 goals. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick and four-time OSU Scholar-Athlete, Paradiso is wrapping up her second year of medical school at Ohio State with hopes of becoming a physician. Find out more about what Michela has been up to since her time in the scarlet and gray.
What have you been up to personally and professionally since you finished your career as a student-athlete at Ohio State?
“I am currently finishing my second year of medical school at The Ohio State University. I am very thankful that I have been able to continue my career path as a Buckeye! Becoming a physician has always been my dream and being able to do pursue my passions at the institution that has already afforded me so much is more than I could have ever imagined.
Also, last summer I was selected to be a part of the CCPR research team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital under surgeon Dr. Marc Levitt. This team works with kids from all over the world who have colon and ano-rectal malformations. It was amazing to see patients and their families at the beginning of their journey clinging to hope, or seeing them throughout the treatment phase, or seeing them in outpatient clinics rejoicing after receiving great news. While I am not sure which field of medicine I want to pursue, I know I have a passion for treating children, so having the opportunity to experience a world- renowned hospital is a privilege for which I thank OSU.”
What’s the most rewarding part of your occupation?
“The most rewarding part of medical school thus far has been the opportunities afforded to me by OSU to see patients. From cuddling babies in the NICU, shadowing physicians in various specialties and rotating with a family practice provider at Polaris once a week, these interactions with patients and their families remind me that the hard work and sacrifice right now will give me the tools necessary to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming the best physician I can be for future patients.”
What’s the biggest challenge in your occupation and how did your time at Ohio State prepare you for the real world?
“While every day I am grateful for the opportunity to be a medical student at OSU, that does not mean it is beyond challenging. From learning the vast amount of information, to constantly studying for exams and completing the other academic requirements, it can be exhausting but I have learned to enjoy all the moments, big and small, as part of the journey. I think back to preseason days, grueling workouts and daily practice. There were days when I would wish time away to hurry up and get to the next thing, but as my senior year came into view, I realized how precious each really moment is, whether it be playing small-sided games at practice or just competing with my teammates. It is this lesson that has prepared me to be fully present in my studies and reach my goals regardless of the obstacles and challenges.”
How did your goals while you were at Ohio State change or stay the same from then until now?
“From the time I was a high school student being recruited, I knew I wanted to be challenged at an elite level to become the best soccer player I could. Making the decision to be a part of the Ohio State soccer program was the best choice I have made. I was able to attain many of my goals including winning big games, become a Big Ten champion and go to the Sweet 16. As my soccer career came to an end, I knew I had to shift my focus to what was next, and my goals of being the best I can never wavered. Continuing my education at OSU pushes me to reach for excellence, both in the classroom and with patients. I cannot think of a place that values excellence more than OSU.”
What do you miss most about your time as a student-athlete at Ohio State?
“There is nothing I miss more than feeling the roar of the crowd vibrating all around while waiting to run out of the tunnel on a Friday night as you prepare for a Big Ten soccer game. The music is blaring and you feel the energy pulsing, adding to your adrenaline rush as you wait with your teammates. As you run out of the tunnel and onto the field, the shine of the spotlights let’s everyone know that something special is going to happen on this stage over the next 90 minutes. I felt at home with my family watching and I felt at peace every time I had the privilege to play in Jesse Owens Memorial stadium. I will never forget that feeling as long as I live.”
What is your favorite memory from your time at Ohio State?
“While there are many memories to choose from, our final regular season game against Michigan State will be special because not only was it our senior night, and potentially my final game at home, but if we did not win this game then our season was finished. I knew and our team knew this was NOT going to be our last game. We fought hard and played one of our season’s best soccer game that night, and we were able to get the victory giving us the opportunity to extend our season. Ultimately, it was winning that game that propelled our team on the path to upset fourth-seeded Virginia Tech in the NCAA tournament and reach the Sweet 16. I was grateful to my teammates and coaches for allowing me to end my career on a high note!”