Career Goals: Olivia Reckley ’20 Scores Her Soccer Dream Job
With the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in full swing in New Zealand, Olivia Reckley ’20 has been glued to her screen.
“I’m cheering hard for the U.S. team, of course,” says Reckley, social media coordinator for the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, the top professional men’s soccer team based in Massachusetts, and a big fan of Sophia Smith, Trinity Rodman, and Megan Rapinoe. “I’ve also loved following how much support the women’s national teams are getting from their home countries. This is the first World Cup for the Haitian women’s team! And this is the most-watched Women’s World Cup ever.”
Reckley has loved soccer since she was 4 or 5 years old, when she insisted on joining her twin brother’s team after she got bored watching him play. By age 11 she had started playing on more competitive club teams, and by the time she left for Wellesley, Reckley had played for Grosse Ile High School, club teams Michigan Rush and Michigan Jaguars, and the Michigan Olympic Development Program, among others. At Wellesley, she was a two-time NEWMAC Women’s Soccer Defensive Athlete of the Week, in 2017 and 2018.
Reckley spent the summer after her sophomore year as the media and communications intern for the Detroit City FC, the professional men’s soccer team right by her house in Detroit. During her senior year, she worked in marketing and communications for Wellesley’s Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (PERA), connecting non-student-athletes and student-athletes through social media and enhancing the reputation of sports on campus.
I know it’s such a cliché, but make those Wellesley connections. Especially if you want to work in the world of sports. It seems like everyone knows everyone.Olivia Reckley ’20
As the anthropology major started to think about her future, she knew she wanted to continue to work in the sports world. “I wanted to keep soccer in my life in some aspect,” she says. After graduating, Reckley moved home to Michigan and found a summer job with the state’s Task Force on Women in Sports, headed by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson ’99. Staying in touch with her boss at Detroit City FC and connecting with fellow Wellesley alums proved to be helpful. “I know it’s such a cliché, but make those Wellesley connections,” Reckley advises current students. “Especially if you want to work in the world of sports. It seems like everyone knows everyone.”
Through her former Detroit City FC boss Reckley learned about the social media coordinator position for the New England Revolution. She applied and got the gig, starting in July 2022. Now Reckley gets paid to share her enthusiasm for soccer. “I love getting fans hyped up about the New England Revolution,” she says. Alongside the team’s social media manager and one other social media coordinator, Reckley works on all aspects of the Revolution’s internet presence––Instagram, Threads, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and X (better known as Twitter)––though her main focus is the team’s TikTok videos. She has made videos that are both silly (like making the team solve math riddles) and serious (such as the memorial tribute to childhood cancer patient and soccer fan Malia). Reckley also isn’t above putting herself in front of the camera, participating in coach Kevin Hitchcock’s notorious goalkeeper training for a YouTube video.
“It’s awesome to be around soccer every day,” says Reckley. “There are so many inspiring stories in the sport. I love getting to connect with other people who are so invested in both growing the sport of soccer in America and growing the women’s game as well. It’s important to me to see these spaces created in sport for any person that wants to get involved.”
While there is currently no professional women’s soccer team in Massachusetts, Reckley is hopeful. The National Women’s Soccer League adds new teams each year, and there are rumors that by 2025 there will be a Boston-based women’s team. Mayor Michelle Wu has already expressed her support for the idea.
For now, though, Reckley is enthused that the Revolution is showing its support for the U.S. women’s national team, which she has helped showcase through social media videos. The team even organized a big display to celebrate team member and local superstar Kristie Mewis, who grew up in Weymouth, Mass.
“It’s so awesome,” says Reckley. “I love what I do. I love working in soccer. It’s such a dream job for me.”