Going for a Goal

Alex Arlitt '15 holding soccer balls

Sidelined by an injury, Alex Arlitt '15 returned to LSU to complete her Master of Accountancy.

December 12, 2017

BATON ROUGE - Master of Accountancy student and professional athlete Alex Arlitt ’15 cites “grit” as the key to success in both accounting and sports.

“There’s a lot of gritty work that goes into both accounting and becoming a professional athlete,” said Arlitt. “Whether that means early morning workouts or massive pension sheets to fill out, consistently putting in the gritty work leads to results. It’s not always fun. It sometimes takes years to see results, but I’ve found that consistent effort and self-discipline are great skills to have.”
When sidelined by an injury, the former LSU soccer standout and current member of FC Kansas City, a team in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), demonstrated that grit by returning to complete her MAcc. 
“When I was drafted into the league, I left behind an internship with KPMG and an unfinished Master’s degree. At the time, I wasn’t sure what the rest of my schooling would look like, or if I was making a terrible decision. I couldn’t see how I would ever finish my degree until I retired. The women’s league season runs from February through October, so most players have to wait until they retire to go back to school. An injury, although disappointing, gave me the opportunity to leave Kansas City during the season to come back to LSU and finish up my schooling. My routine is very similar to when I was a student-athlete. I spend most of my mornings rehabbing my injury and then take the rest of the day to go to class and study.”
Arlitt adds that while most NWSL players must wait and finish their degrees in retirement, their counterparts playing in the men’s league have access to discounted, online degree programs. She is thinking of ways to help make that opportunity available for future generations of NWSL players.
Soccer has given Arlitt an opportunity to expand her horizons through travel. During a stint with a team in Australia, Arlitt got a feel for doing business in another culture.  
“I happened to meet someone who worked in EY’s Sydney office. Listening to him talk about the culture was fascinating. Every part of the culture in Australia was a lot more relaxed, and that seemed to carry over to business. Sometimes I can be pretty intense about getting work done quickly, so that was good for me to hear.”
When looking at the future, Arlitt acknowledges that many factors are out of her control. For that reason, she doesn’t set goals around achievements like getting a specific job, promotion, or making the national team.
“In the long term, I want to be in a place where I can look back and see how much I’ve learned and progressed at my craft. In five years, I want to look back and say ‘I remember being so worried about my data skills, and now I’m an Excel genius,’ or  ‘I can’t believe I used to think bending a ball into the box with my left foot was hard.’ That’s when I will know I have met a long-term goal.”
Arlitt will graduate with her MAcc in December 2017.  ​​​


Angela McBride
LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business