Barry McNamara  |  Published February 09, 2021

Rice Is Nice for Arlt ’21

Senior is in fifth of sixth internships before she heads to graduate school.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – By the time Monmouth College’s Kensey Arlt ’21 starts a master’s degree in sports administration this fall, she’ll be well-qualified to talk about the profession. That’s because she’ll have six internship experiences under her belt.

KENSEY ARLT: She's spent her senior year doing internships in Tulsa and Houston while doing h... KENSEY ARLT: She's spent her senior year doing internships in Tulsa and Houston while doing her Monmouth coursework remotely.In a different reality, Arlt might’ve spent her entire senior year on the Monmouth campus. As a junior, she was the starting goalkeeper on the first Fighting Scots women’s soccer team to qualify for the NCAA tournament. She made the game-clinching save during a penalty kick shootout that won the Midwest Conference tournament and set off a massive on-field celebration.

Instead, Arlt’s new normal is to study remotely and do internships that support her professional goal of working for an athletic department at a major university.

Last fall, Arlt worked for FC Tulsa, a professional soccer team in Oklahoma not far from her hometown of Wichita, Kansas. Tulsa reached the playoffs, giving her some of the thrills she missed from not donning her bright yellow goalie jersey last fall.

“It was absolutely electric,” she said of the mood around the team as it qualified for the postseason for the first time in three years. “They gave me a game when I was without one. I didn’t really get that opportunity for a senior season at Monmouth, but it was a very exciting atmosphere.”

Wise to join Owls

And a very important one for her plans. This spring she is an intern at Rice University in Houston, where she’s doing marketing and creative work for the Owls’ athletic department.

“I was able to post real-time content for FC Tulsa,” said Arlt, who is taking three credits at Monmouth this spring, including the capstone course for her business administration major. “It really springboarded me to what I’m doing here at Rice.”

“To get started, find an internship and do good work, and then that will lead you into other opportunities.” Kensey Arlt 

Arlt heard about her current position from a friend while she was applying for spring internships. With other irons in the fire, she’d forgotten about applying at Rice, but the school contacted her at the start of the year and she quickly found a place to live in Houston.

“They’ve taught me so much,” she said of her first two weeks on the job covering basketball, soccer and volleyball. “I’m creating content on my own. They fully trust me – I don’t even trust myself that much. They really hype me up, and they have me doing video work, which is what I’ve wanted to do from the very beginning.”

Going ‘Bananas’

The position at Rice is Arlt’s fifth internship. She’ll start a sixth this summer when she works for the Savannah Bananas, a college summer league baseball team in Georgia. With each position, Arlt makes herself more attractive to graduate school programs and, ultimately, employers.

“It’s definitely a necessity,” she said. “Especially if your goal is getting into sports, doing internships is how you network. Everybody knows everybody in this professional community. To get started, find an internship and do good work, and then that will lead you into other opportunities. I got my internship at the Orange Bowl through a connection, and I got the one in Tulsa through a connection. And by then, I had a big enough résumé that Rice really liked what they saw.”

Following her stints in Texas and Georgia, Arlt hopes to land in another state – North Carolina. She hopes to study in Chapel Hill, as the University of North Carolina has one of the top sports administration graduate programs. And there’s another smaller reason, too.

“I’m a big Duke fan, so I’d be only eight miles from there,” she said.

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