Spotlight On: Whitney Davis Showalter, Virginia Tech Softball

Whitney Davis Showalter
Director of Softball Operations
Virginia Tech University
Hometown: Tazewell, Virginia
Education: Virginia Tech
Official bio
Twitter: @Whitney_Davis4

What do the first two hours of your day look like?

My first couple of hours usually including checking emails and updating my to-do list (I’m big on the instant gratification of marketing something off my list). Usually, how my day starts depends on what time of year it is. If it’s during season, it’s usually updating Teamworks for itineraries, departure times and ordering meals. If it’s out of season, I’m researching hotels, working on our banquet sets ups for the next year and budgeting out our year.

Name one go-to resource that helps you with your duties.

Google Drive is my go-to on a daily basis. It’s free and I can store all of my travel information there. I also use Google Forms to create meal forms, equipment needs and clothing sizes each year. I also use TeamWorks to incorporate all of our travel itineraries and to send group messages out to my team. It’s great for a quick calendar everyone has access to and to be able to communicate with a large group, while saving all of my travel plans including dates and times.

If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be? 

I would volunteer or ask advice from people from each department within the athletic department. Knowing what others do in the department is crucial to make sure that everyone understands the mindset behind all the parts that make a department run. Even for a single softball game there are so many different areas that are involved to make a 7-inning game run. Once you understand what it takes to make events run, you have a better appreciation for what everyone does and how we can efficiently work together to make things run smoothly.

Name one new thing you want to accomplish this year?

It’s going to take about a year and a half, but my next big accomplishment is to finish my second Graduate Degree with an MBA from Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech.

This year I also want to continue to establish more fan engagement activities with our team and to tackle a Photoshop class to work on some graphics for our fundraisers and other events we have.

As you look at the athletic operations field, what is one area that is growing/changing the most?

My job is always evolving. Every year I take on more tasks or tasks change. The best part about my job is that I get to work with so many different areas in the athletic department and that has taught me an abundance of information on how things work and how to run things more efficiently. I think the thing that’s growing the most is facilities and making the space that we have work the most efficiently for our student-athletes, to enhance our performance and to show our recruits for the future.

Best career or work advice you ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever been told is to know your why when it comes to your career and what makes you do what you do. I was also told to always be authentic and to be present.

Talk about a project or effort you’re working on or a group or organization that you’re working with that is near and dear to your heart.

Women Leaders in College Sports is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. Currently, I serve on the National Membership Committee in efforts of growing the organization in the year of 2018. I also went to their Institute for Administrative Advancement and my first Women Leaders Convention in the fall of 2017. Desiree Reed-Francois, the athletic director at UNLV, got me involved with the organization and I could not be more thankful for that. I have met so many new colleagues in different areas of athletics from all divisions across the U.S. and it has given me opportunities to grow and learn from others who have the same goal of building collegiate athletics to give our student-athletes the best experience we can give them. I’ve gotten to see how other athletic departments run and get to bounce ideas off of colleagues to create or try new things. Women Leaders also gives me a chance to work on my own professional development. In my role I pretty much need to be selfless and put my taking care of my team first. In working with Women Leaders, I get to work on things I need to advance my career and make myself a better employee.

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