Alyssa Fox has been preparing for the dual roles of college athlete and business student for most of her life.
The IUPUI Women’s Soccer varsity player has been on the field since she was six years old. Throughout her schooling, she has balanced studies with practice, travel soccer and basketball, even earning a spot as a Direct Admit when she arrived at Kelley Indianapolis.
“Time management is huge for a college athlete,” says the junior. “I’ve always had to make sure I was attending practice while still doing well in school. That meant doing homework in the car on the way to travel practice and just finding ways to fit it all in. It really prepared me for being successful in my studies here at Kelley.”
As a high school soccer player, Fox considered several college options. But there was a single moment that propelled her to enroll at IUPUI. She saw a sign.
“My mom and I were driving through Indianapolis on our way to visit my brother at his college in Ohio,” remembers the Chicago native. “At the time, I was going through my recruiting process for college soccer. We noticed IUPUI on one of the interstate exit signs. That inspired us to look into it.”
She found that IUPUI was on the list of one of her college showcase soccer recruitment tournaments.
“I emailed [IUPUI Women’s Soccer] Coach Chris Johnson and [Assistant Coach] Stacy Pease, and they watched me play a few times. I met the other players and realized IUPUI really gave me the opportunity to play soccer and earn a great degree at Kelley. I wanted a business degree that really meant something on my résumé when I graduated.”
The finance major says Kelley gave her the opportunity to study business at a well-known school and in a large city: two things she wanted in a college. She says Kelley professors have helped her navigate the challenges of being an active student-athlete who travels and a business major with a challenging course load.
She found that the same principles that prepared her to do well in soccer also helped her excel in business.
“The whole process of being recruited to play soccer is just like networking for a job,” she explains. “I was speaking to coaches on the phone, sending them professional emails, and really putting myself out there. It helped me to become comfortable with business communication and talking to different people about various topics.”
Fox wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after college. She knew she was interested in finance and, of course, sports. But she didn’t know how those two interests would converge into a career. Then she took a Kelley study abroad course her sophomore year.
“The sports marketing trip to Spain with professor Kim Donahue was huge for me—both personally and professionally,” she says. “I was a sophomore and hadn’t met a lot of classmates due to my busy soccer schedule. On that trip, I became very close with my classmates, and we’re still good friends today.”
“While in Spain, we visited several companies to learn more about the business of sports. I realized that as an avid sports fan, I’ve always been part of the industry by constantly visiting various sports venues and buying from companies that generate a lot of revenue. It was very interesting.”
The study abroad program inspired Fox to narrow her focus to discover how she could use her business degree in an industry she knows and loves.
“It gave me confidence that I was choosing the right field in business,” she says. “The passion for business that we saw in the Spanish companies really excited me to find a job in that field after school. I feel like I know which direction I want to take this this degree, and I don’t have to leave behind my love of sports in the process.”
Read more Kelley All-star stories here: Taking her mark and leaving her mark