Charlotte Ljungkrantz is a senior from Taby, Sweden majoring in aerospace engineering. She has played in the No. 5 and No. 6 singles spots this year.
How long have you been playing tennis?
"I have been playing tennis for 16 years."
Talk about your recruiting process? How did you come to choose Iowa State? What have you learned about living so far from home and has it been difficult?
"I didn't know much about different universities in the U.S., so I picked out a bunch of Division 1 schools that were located in an area where I thought I would like to live and that had aerospace engineering. I sent letters to these schools. Iowa State was one of the schools that replied. I talked a lot to (ISU head) coach (Michelle) Conlon over the phone and I sent her a tape of me playing. She also talked to my Swedish coach to get information about me. I choose Iowa State because I really liked what coach Conlon had to say about the team and the program and because Iowa State has a good aerospace engineering program. I knew I was going to get a good education, which was most important to me."
What's one of your favorite trips that you've been on for tennis? - maybe add a favorite memory from a trip or from college?
"The trip that comes to mind first is this year's spring break trip. We went to Hawaii for the whole week. Being from Sweden, which is basically as far away from Hawaii you can get, Hawaii isn't exactly the common vacation spot for me. I have always wanted to go there, but thought it would never happen. So getting to go to such a beautiful place for one of the things I like the most, tennis, was just awesome. We all had a great time there."
Describe the team in one word?
You've accomplished a lot academically at Iowa State.
What made you decide to major in Aerospace Engineering?
"I have always been interested in space and anything that flew. When I was younger my friend and I used to joke around about that we were going to work for NASA one day. (Of course the only thing we thought that NASA was going to let us do there was clean the toilets). Aerospace Engineering as a major doesn't really exist in Sweden. The major I always planned on taking involves all kind of vehicles, and then I was going to specify in aerospace my last year. So when I saw that over here you can read aerospace engineering from the beginning, the choice of a major was easy.
What are some of you career goals? What do you hope to do after graduation?
"I am planning on doing an internship this summer working in the aerospace program at a company in Sweden. After I graduate I hope to have a job in the US and start thinking about going to graduate school. And maybe, someday after a lot of hard work, getting a job with NASA."
Are there any final thoughts or comments on your season?
"This team has worked really hard and has had some really close matches this season. The dedication of the team is showing on the court and I'm proud of what we have accomplished so far."
Anything you would like to say about your teammates or advice to pass along to them.
"We have gotten better every year and hopefully that will continue. Never stop putting the work in, it is and will continue to pay off."
Any advice for future players/recruits?
"Cherish the time that you have. You are only in college once; get the most out of it. Four years go by fast. You'll be playing your last match before you know it so take advantage of every single opportunity. Work as hard as you can so when you graduate you have no regrets!"
What can you take out of your experience from playing tennis with Iowa State?
"I've learned a lot about perseverance. Playing tennis for Iowa State was definitely a challenge. Being a full-time athlete requires a lot of time for practicing, conditioning, weight lifting, traveling, and recruiting. Balancing the demands of an athlete with the demands of an aerospace student was and is one of the most difficult things I've had to deal with. The aerospace program is very demanding and finding time to study and get all of my work done really tested my academic discipline. Sometimes I felt like there were just not enough hours in the day! After being a student-athlete and juggling tennis and schoolwork I have learned a lot about persevering when times get tough and that is something I will keep with me always."