FEATURES: Young, smart and fabulously employed
The team player
Ashley Likens ’09 is pictured outside of the Caribe Royale Convention Center in Orlando.
When softball star Ashley Likens ’09 was named second-team All-American, she never imagined that the years she spent perfecting her skills as a second baseman would one day help her get a job in the tough-to-crack field of sport management.
“I’m the type of person that has to prepare a lot,” says Likens, an event coordinator for the Florida Sports Foundation. “I make sure that I study my interview questions and answers and make sure I have everything worded out. I was well prepared, well dressed, was confident in my answers, and had my résumé down to the ‘t’. ... I’d practice the same way with softball, doing repetitions on different things, just to feel comfortable come game time.”
While most graduates go searching for jobs, Likens’ job “kind of found her.” After graduating from Barry’s sport management program in May 2009, Likens landed a summer internship with the Super Bowl Host Committee in Miami after Barry softball coach Danielle Penner recommended her to a committee member.
“Ashley is a leader by example,” Penner says. “She was the first person at the field each day and an honor student every semester. Ashley takes pride in working hard and performing well, regardless of the task. …In fact, I cannot think of a more suitable person to set the benchmark for all Barry University student-athletes.”
Three months of interning and learning the ropes paid off when the committee brought her on board full-time as an event planner in the fall of 2009. There, she organized and produced events promoting Super Bowl XLIV held in Miami. She also took on marketing responsibilities and even had the opportunity to design a billboard on South Florida’s well-traveled Interstate-95.
Likens’ work grabbed the attention of the committee’s vice president, who recommended her for a year-round position as an event coordinator with the Florida Sports Foundation. Likens beat out a multitude
of candidates and packed her bags for
Tallahassee, where the foundation is
"I was well prepared, well dressed, was confident in my answers, and had my résumé down to the ‘t’. ... I’d practice the same way with softball, doing repetitions on different things, just to feel comfortable come game time.”
As an event coordinator, the former second baseman has to know the rules and basic practices of multiple sports. She manages the daily operations of rugby, figure skating, water polo, lacrosse, badminton and power lifting for the Sunshine State Conference, which sponsors championships in 14 NCAA Division II sports for nine Florida schools, including Barry.
Her days are spent much like they were as a softball player – preparing for games, traveling to games and attending games, and always in the company of athletes. She secures venues, registers athletes, manages the inventory of equipment, and coordinates any logistics to ensure that all games for her sports operate smoothly.
Regardless of the task, her secret to juggling six sports follows the same approach that once made her successful on the diamond: “I’m always preparing,” she says.