Barry McNamara  |   Published July 21, 2020

Orange Bowl Interns

Students Kensey Arlt ’21 and Jaylan Lopez ’22 join alumnus John Mas ’02 as summer interns at the legendary Orange Bowl.

  • Students Kensey Arlt ’21 of Wichita, Kan., left, and and Jaylan Lopez ’22 of Homestead, Fla., have joined Monmouth alumnus John Mas ’02, sitting, as interns at the Orange Bowl.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – This summer, it’s a case of dos más for Monmouth College at the Orange Bowl.

Students Kensey Arlt ’21 of Wichita, Kan., and Jaylan Lopez ’22 of Homestead, Fla., have joined 2002 Monmouth graduate John Mas, who has been with the Orange Bowl for 16 years and is now its senior director of partnerships.

Most famous for its annual college football bowl game that has been contested since 1935 – second only to the Rose Bowl – Arlt and Lopez have learned that the Orange Bowl is more than one of the biggest annual college football games.

The Orange Bowl Committee has expanded beyond Greater Miami to become a cornerstone of the entire South Florida area, with a growing legacy of charitable contributions and community outreach. The Orange Bowl promotes championship sporting events, related premier entertainment and other year-round activities to inspire youth, engage the community and enhance the South Florida economy.

Mas started with the Orange Bowl as an intern, which is what Arlt and Lopez also are doing this summer. Two of the committee’s nine interns, they both work in Mas’s partnerships division.

“We assist in the implementation and fulfillment of sponsorship benefits for all Orange Bowl festival events,” said Lopez, who is a member of the Fighting Scots’ football team. “We also assist with partnership activation and fulfillment at various events held across South Florida.”

Mas said the two Monmouth students have served important roles this summer.

“Both Kensey and Jaylan have been prepping us for our recap and activation efforts amongst our sponsors this coming fall,” he said. “They’ve been creating event recap templates, participated in sponsor activation calls and worked their first event this past weekend at our Sunshine State Lacrosse Games.”

‘Bigger than the bowl game’

Arlt and Lopez, who recently participated in a community outreach program honoring healthcare partners at a local hospital, will soon begin working on a COVID relief food and back-to-school drive, as well as the Sunshine Health Orange Bowl Family, Fun & Fit Day.

“I really enjoy knowing I’m putting in good work and contributing to something bigger than myself, and bigger than the bowl game,” said Arlt, the starting goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team at Monmouth. “The partnerships division plays a very large part in the community events the Orange Bowl puts on, and it’s really cool to see how big of an impact this organization has on the South Florida community.”

Lopez is pleased to make an impact where he grew up.

“Being that I’m from South Florida, I enjoy being part of a team that works every day to give back to the community and provides opportunities to athletes across South Florida,” he said.

Not long ago, Lopez was one of those athletes, and he crossed paths with Mas.

“I actually met John at an event the Orange Bowl was hosting (the Orange Bowl Football Showcase), and we really connected there,” he said. “Since then, we remained in contact and I was able to acquire a position.”

Although Arlt can truly say she’s not in Kansas anymore, South Florida still feels at least a little like home. She grew up a fan of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who have played in the Orange Bowl 17 times, winning four of their five national titles in the bowl game.

“Being a Nebraska fan, this opportunity hits really close to home, because of Nebraska’s strong history with the Orange Bowl,” she said. “It is surreal seeing the Nebraska jerseys, legacies and signatures that fill the hallways where I get to intern every day.”

Monmouth connections

Arlt heard about the opportunity through one of her professors, Jen Braun, the wife of Monmouth football coach Chad Braun, who was an assistant coach when Mas played for the Scots.

“Kensey’s paid internship was competitive, so I am very proud of her,” said Jen Braun. “We’re thankful to John and his continued involvement with Monmouth College. He’s spoken to several of my classes and is a great resource and very willing to help students. Kensey, Jaylan and John all FaceTimed me recently, and it was pretty awesome to see that many Monmouth College connections in such a small office.”

Mas said he is glad to stay connected to his alma mater.

“It means a great deal for me to have a couple of Monmouth College students intern with us this summer,” he said. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ and hope to continue to get some more Fighting Scots on the team in the future.”

After the Orange Bowl

A business administration major, Arlt hopes to use her Orange Bowl experience as a springboard.

“Long term, I want to work with creative content on a social media team for a Division I university’s sports team,” she said. “Short term, I want to go to graduate school and attain my sports administration master’s degree at a top-tier institution such as the University of North Carolina.”

Lopez is studying exercise science with the goal of becoming a trainer.

“I’ve had many run-ins with injury and have constantly found myself in a training room,” he said. “I love the idea of helping athletes recover from injury to get them back on the field as soon as possible. I saw this internship opportunity as a different approach to helping athletes get exposure, providing them opportunities to take their talents to the next level, as well as being able to simply give back to a community in need.”

Both students are grateful for the opportunity and believe it will serve them beyond Monmouth.

“I’m looking to build as many solid relationships with people as possible, because you never know where you’ll find yourself in the future,” said Lopez. “I got this internship not because my résumé was the greatest but because I reached out to someone whom I left a good impression on.”

“This internship gives me exposure and experience into ‘big time’ college athletics that is a rare opportunity in undergrad,” said Arlt. “How many grad school applicants can say they worked for the Orange Bowl? This opportunity, though it isn’t specifically what I want to do after my studies, helps me to be more well-rounded and knowledgeable in facets outside of my domain, which is huge in learning how departments work with each other in the sports world. I’m really thankful for Monmouth College alumni, especially John Mas, for being so willing to help out current students and give back to us.”

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