In November of my senior year I was offered a job in professional baseball with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. I couldn’t pass up this incredible opportunity, but I hadn’t graduated yet, so I decided to try and do it all. I would drive back to Moosic, Pa., two to three times a week, stay at home, do my laundry and head to work as our corporate servicing and social media manager before driving back to campus. Besides my schoolwork and extracurricular activities, I had various roles with Bucknell Athletics, and it was the communities within these two organizations that helped me balance it all.

Through the Undergraduate Executive Intern Program and the Coca-Cola marketing internship, I worked in the athletics department for three years. I helped run the Bison Rec social media accounts, worked on an extensive tailgating project, penned countless thank-you letters to varsity athletics donors and ran our in-game promotions for football and men’s and women’s basketball. If you’ve ever heard, “Hey there, Bison fans!” you’ve heard me. If you’ve seen a woman run around Sojka Pavilion in bright orange shorts, you’ve seen me, and chances are, if you’ve been to a game in the last three years, you know exactly who I am.

I couldn’t imagine giving up any of my roles with Bucknell Athletics, so my incredible bosses (now friends) Todd Newcomb, Karen Landis and Jourdan Fraser allowed me to juggle all these jobs and were instrumental in my success. They truly helped ignite my passion for working in sports. They and the rest of my Bison family kept me sane throughout my senior year.

From Sojka Pavilion to PNC Field

This September I finished my first full-time season with the RailRiders, and now with four seasons of Minor League Baseball under my belt (including three very long summer internships) I have a new role with the RailRiders: For the 2019 season I’ll be the special events & social media manager. I can already see how my Bucknell experience will help me progress.

Everyone in Lewisburg can attest to the fact that I’m far from shy and have no problem being vocal. In this new position I’ll deal with a lot of different people, inside and outside my organization, ranging from my general manager to employees of small local businesses, so strong communication skills will undoubtedly be an asset. While I, sadly, won’t be giving away pizza to rowdy fans, like I did while I was at Bucknell, the skills and work ethic instilled through my internships will continue to be beneficial.

I will forever be grateful for the work ethic, experience and friendships I’ve gained while working with the RailRiders and Bucknell Athletics. Without these organizations, I would not be the person I am.

From escapades to the Purple Cow ice cream shop with Bucknell’s Rec Department, to postgame meetings at the Towne Tavern, to our incredible trip to Detroit with the men’s basketball team for March Madness last spring, I have made memories to last a lifetime, thanks to Bucknell Athletics. I’ll be at Sojka Pavilion again this winter (as a fan of course) and at PNC Field this spring and summer. Don’t be a stranger. Stop by, say hello and of course, “Go Bison!”

A markets, innovation & design major, Kat Sokirka ’18 is the sister of Bret Sokirka ’09.