September Student-Athlete Spotlight: Wellesley Soccer's Olivia Reckley '20

Junior Olivia Reckley is an anthropology major and economics minor from Grosse Ile, Michigan (Frank Poulin).
Junior Olivia Reckley is an anthropology major and economics minor from Grosse Ile, Michigan (Frank Poulin).

Junior goalkeeper Olivia Reckley has been a staple of the Wellesley College soccer defense since arriving on campus in 2016. During her first two seasons with the Blue, Reckley started in net for all of the Blue's 36 games recording 13 shutouts and holding opponents to 1.44 goals per game.

An anthropology major and economics minor from Grosse Ile, Michigan, Reckley knew after her first campus visit that the great sense of community and welcoming student body at Wellesley provided the positive campus environment she was looking for. Initially unsure of her course of study, Wellesley's liberal arts curriculum allowed her to take a wide array of classes in a variety of subjects which ultimately led her to anthropology and economics.

With her sights set on a career in media marketing, advertising or communications, Wellesley's junior goalkeeper was able to secure internships with both the Detroit City FC and Paragon Leadership International this past summer. She recently took the time to speak with about her experiences in the classroom and on the soccer field and what skills she has learned at Wellesley to be successful in her summer internships and in achieving her long-term career goals.

What made you decide to attend Wellesley College?

During a family trip to Nantucket, an alumnae from my church recommended I check it out. The very first time I set foot on campus it felt like home and I knew it's where I wanted to be. During my junior year recruiting visit I was reminded once again why I wanted to be here. Everyone I met, both members of the soccer team as well as other students were so kind and welcoming. I was searching for an environment where I could thrive both athletically and academically, and Wellesley was just right. It was also my recruiting class. We all visited the same weekend and got to know each other. After meeting them and spending time with them, I knew they were the people I wanted to be playing and living with for the next four years.

What drew you to play soccer in college?

I always knew I wanted to play soccer in college. I started playing at a very young age, and I always pushed myself to reach the next level. I grew up watching the University of Michigan Women's Soccer games and thought I wanted to be just like those players on the field. It's probably been the best decision I've ever made. I am continuing to do what I love with people I love in a place I love. A very big shoutout to my parents for their continual support of my brother and my soccer careers, from driving us around to practices to pushing me to always play my best with "nothing in the net." I don't think I would be where I am without them. Soccer is something I have always done, I will always love the game.

How did you choose to major in anthropology and minor in economics? You want to work in media marketing, advertising or communications, how is the liberal arts education you are receiving at Wellesley preparing you for a job in those fields?

When I initially got to Wellesley, I had no idea what I wanted to study, but knew I wanted to go into media marketing, advertising or communications. My liberal arts education has allowed me to take a wide range of courses during my first and second years in multiple different departments. I have always found people and their cultures so interesting, so I decided on Anthropology. It allows me to study all aspects of human culture in all different parts of the world. I chose to minor in economics to gain a better understanding of the business world. I hope to translate my background in anthro and economics in the workplace by helping businesses understand their customers from an anthropological standpoint and how to correctly market to them.

You were able to turn your passion for soccer into an internship opportunity with the Detroit City FC (DCFC), of the National Premier Soccer League.  What did you do as an intern with that organization? What did you enjoy most at the internship?

This summer was an incredible experience working with Detroit City FC. I met the most wonderful people who shared my passion for soccer.  My position in the media department enabled me to create visual content for social media platforms, post regularly on social media, update stats and website details, and have scripts ready for game day broadcasts. The games were a blast and I had so much fun watching them grow as a club and company over the course of the summer. The rostered goalkeepers and I knew each other beforehand, so it was an even cooler experience being able to cheer them on in warmups and during the game. They also allowed me to take a few pictures to feed my photography hobby! I went into the summer not knowing what to expect, and came out a lifelong fan of Detroit City FC.

You were also an intern at Paragon Leadership International, what was your role and what did learn while working for this company?

I was a marketing and communications intern for Paragon, an executive and leadership development coaching firm,  They aid in the development of leaders in the workforce and continue to provide development plans for the individual. I planned and organized events, sat in on interviews, wrote blog posts, and connected with clients. This position taught me what it means to be a woman in the workforce, and how powerful it can be. We were able to host an event focusing on millennials and Gen Z individuals in the workforce,. This was beneficial because it allowed me to see my peers represented.

How has being a member of Wellesley's soccer team helped you to be successful at your internships?  What is something that it has taught you or given you that will stay with you the rest of your life?

Wellesley soccer has taught me how to be a leader and move with confidence. During my my first year, I shared goalkeeping responsibilities with another first year. Despite being new and one of the youngest players on the team, it was my responsibility to help lead the team on the field. Whenever I feel nervous in a classroom setting or the work world, I remind myself of everything I have accomplished on the soccer field in a difficult position, and translate my "gameday mentality" to the task at hand.

What is your favorite Wellesley Soccer memory?

This is a hard question... there are so many! If there is a favorite one, it would be dancing with my team. I am a TERRIBLE dancer, but when the pregame music comes on and everyone is getting ready to play and excited, a couple of us will get up and dance. It gets me pumped up to play and I transfer that energy to my teammates.

What is the best part about being a student athlete at Wellesley?

The community! I came to Wellesley not knowing anyone, and now I have a huge, huge family. I am very lucky to have met so many people from so many different places and backgrounds that call friends now. They are always there for me, and are going through the same tough schedules I am, so they know exactly how to support me. Blue spelled backwards really does mean family.