Geneseo’s Alyx Dykema doesn’t mind putting in a little grunt work as she hopes to climb her way to the top with a professional baseball organization.
“I don’t mind cleaning the stadium until 2 a.m. after games,” she said. “I ultimately want to work for a professional baseball team in community or public relations. I am just looking to get my foot in the door with a baseball team.”
Dykema is already on her way there as the 2008 Geneseo High?School graduate is interning as an account executive this summer with the Daytona Cubs, a High A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs, in Dayton Beach,?Fla.
Dykema, who graduated in May from the University of Iowa with a degree in communication studies and a minor in sports management, said she has really become a ‘jack of all trades’ for the Daytona Cubs.
On game days, Dykema has the opportunity to rotate between different departments to get a little taste of what all goes into making the organization work. She also is one of the people in charge of getting fans involved with on-the-field activities between innings.
On non-home game days, Dykema spends most of her time making sales calls to secure sponsorships and working on different promotional projects or special event projects, such as the Silver Sluggers, for senior citizens.
She also has spent time as the Daytona Cubs’ mascot, Cubby, which was one of Dykema’s favorite things to do.
“Overall, I have really enjoyed my experience,” she said. “Sometimes the days do get long, but those are fun days when you see it all come together.
“I have really enjoyed being able to meet new people in the industry and pick their brains about what helped get them to where they are now.”
While this is Dykema’s first season with the Daytona Cubs, she is no stranger to the minor league system. Dykema began working for the Burlington Bees in the summer of 2010 and went on to intern with the Quad City River Bandits last summer.
“I started with the Burlington Bees and then it was kind of a chain reaction,” she said. “The Bees sent my resume to the Bandits, and after my summer with the Bandits, they forwarded it to Daytona.”
Dykema said one of the toughest parts of her job is being so far away from home.
“It is tough being away from home and missing all the family events, but at the same time I know it is a really good opportunity for me and it is a sacrifice to get to where I want to be,” she said.
Dykema, who originally was attending the University of Iowa for radiological sciences, realized that road wasn’t for her and her adviser suggested communications.
Page 2 of 2 - “I remembered attending Kid’s Day at U.S. Cellular Field which began to spark my interest,” she said. “Then it just came to me one day when I was watching baseball, ‘Why not try working for a baseball team,” but I didn’t realize working in baseball would involve so much stadium work and sales.
“I have learned to be persistent and not give up on what I?want to do,” she said. “It is not a matter if I can break into the sports industry, but just a matter of when. I also learned you have to be willing to jump into situations you are not necessarily comfortable with and networking is very important.”
Dykema will be with the Daytona Cubs through the end of the season, but her time might be extended if the team makes the playoffs.
As for the future, Dykema has been applying for jobs with the National Football?League, Major?League Baseball and Major League Soccer.
“It is a really competitive market, but hopefully something will come through,” she said.