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Rebekah Allick: Managing Life on the Court and in the Classroom

Management Major Learns to Finish Strong During Stress
Rebekah Allick: Managing Life on the Court and in the Classroom
Rebekah Allick shares her experience and lessons from balancing being a Husker volleyball player and management major at the College of Business.

Husker Rebekah Allick is known for her big blocks and big swings on the volleyball court, as well as asking big questions. Deciding to major in management at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, she knew time management and communication would play a key role in achieving her goals on the court and in the classroom.

"I chose business management over the other majors because it allows me to dabble in everything. I appreciate the chance to experience all the different elements like economics, finance, etc. and see the players that are part of a team running a business," said Allick, who hopes to run her own business in the future.

Moving to Lincoln, Nebraska, when she was young, she attended her freshmen and sophomore years at Lincoln North Star High School before graduating from Waverly High School. When it came time to pick a college major, she was influenced by Head Cheer Coach Monica Aldama from the television show "Cheer."

"Anytime Monica would explain why she made an important business decision, she would reference her business management degree. At the time, I was interested in coaching and interior design, but she helped me see how business provided a broader gateway for my future if I wanted to work in or own my own business," Allick said.

Allick said the College of Business, located east of Memorial Stadium in the middle of campus, stood out to her. The college is housed in the 240,000-square-foot Howard L. Hawks Hall, which opened in 2017 after being built entirely through private donations.

"The College of Business is cool and modern. As a freshman, I was really intimidated because it just seemed so professional. Now that I've been here, though, I know everyone here is just doing their best," Allick said.

Rebekah spikes volleyball over net.
Allick earned many volleyball honors, including AVCA All-Region Team, Academic All-Big Ten, All-Big Ten Second Team, Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award and the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

Through conversations with an academic advisor, she knew a business major would be difficult with her student-athlete schedule. She decided to commit the time needed by making some tough decisions.

"When I actually sat down with the course material, I found it easy to understand. The key was committing the time to fully understand it so I could earn the grades I wanted. Am I going to make time to go hang out with friends or pick up another tutoring session?" she said.

That included time for tutors and homework around classes, games and practices. It also meant a need for strong communication — especially if her schedule changed.

"If practice runs late, I have to let my tutors know. It's making sure that I'm doing everything I can so that it doesn't look like I'm a no-show. I have to communicate, ask questions and live out of a planner to commit the time needed for my major," she said. 

At Nebraska, she met professors who shared the course objectives and wanted to see their students succeed. In her "first hard accounting course," taught by Steven Hegemann, associate professor of practice in accountancy, she enjoyed his humor and honesty.

"You go into a big class. You're in kind of an intimidating looking building. You assume every class is really hard. You're told to read this and do that assignment, and then you have a professor who says, 'I'm going to be honest with you. This material is not that bad, but if you don't pay attention, it's going to be very bad. You have tutors. You have me, and you have each other.' It was kind of time for me to grow up when I took Professor Hegemann's class," Allick said.

She shared how the course was "a good balance of laughter and stress" but manageable. She added that most professors are there to help, answer questions and share what you need to know when they cover the material.

"My advice to students is just put your phone down and take advantage of the resources in front of you, including the professor who's teaching the course. Also, there is almost always something in the syllabus or a video or slideshow that can help when you get frustrated. There are also free tutors who can assist you," said Allick.

At the College of Business, the Teaching and Learning Center located in the lower level of Hawks Hall offers free tutoring for all students in business courses.

"I'm really grateful for my mom, who was a student-athlete at Northwest Missouri State. She told me that I was being paid to do what everyone else was paying to do. She knew I was going to give 100% in the gym and said they should not have to babysit me in a classroom."

Being told that since middle school, Allick felt prepared to have her "ducks in a row" and do her best, even when academics and athletics collided.

Rebekah smiles and high fives a teammate.
Allick's epiphany after a statistics course helped her on and off the court.

"I would have games where I was thinking about an exam. That is just reality. I care about these two things (volleyball and academics), so I needed to figure out a balance so I could be fully present in the gym but also do well in the classroom. You can ask my coaches: I ask lots of questions so I understand and can do my best. That's just who I am, and so that translates into the classroom as well," she said.

When Allick would hear others talking about how a student-athlete performed in the classroom was directly related to how he or she performed on the court, Allick wasn't bought in to it until a personal scenario showed her the connection.

"I set a goal to get an A in a statistics course at the start of the semester. I was doing well and had studied days before the test, so I was feeling super cocky and didn't study the nights right before the test. Then I got an 89.76 as a grade, just under an A, and I was upset."

She called Coach John Cook to share that she hadn't met her goal. He told her she did a great job.

"He was kind, but I could see how it was kind of my mentality, and I saw that shift into how I behave during the season. I'm really good in the beginning, striding in the middle and for some reason, right at the end when things got scary and hard, I would psych myself out and start doing things that were unlike myself," she said. "I also saw that translating into how I played in the tournament when it got really stressful. I was scared of failure. So unintentionally, I would change things like the routines I did all season, so if I failed, I could perhaps blame it on a last-minute shift. It's like I detached myself in a way that would allow me to not feel the pain entirely if I failed."

Allick said the epiphany to be consistent and push even harder was game-changing for her in all aspects of her life, including academics and envisioning her future.

"When I could actually see it happening to me, it was big. I get it now. That's what they were trying to tell me. Now during finals week, I feel the stress when I hadn't in the past, yet I continue to focus on the details needed to meet my goals and finish strong," she said.

She heads into her junior year of college with numerous accolades, such as AVCA All-Region Team, Academic All-Big Ten, All-Big Ten Second Team, Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award and the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team.

“Rebekah has poured her heart and soul into the Nebraska volleyball program," Cook said. "The thing I love about Rebekah is when she wants something, she is very passionate about going for it with everything she has. Everyone can see the emotion she displays whether she's celebrating a play on the court or cheering on her teammates from the bench. She strives to grow every day as a player and a person and uses her platform to make a difference in the world.”

She also wants to finish her time at Nebraska using her full first name of Rebekah — not Bekka — Allick.

"When I set up my social media account in fifth grade after mom said yes, I decided to go by Bekka so everyone would know me as that. My father was the only one who called me Rebekah, so I felt special, and it was a bit like a Hannah Montana-type thing (where only those close to Miley Cyrus' character knew she was also a popular rock star). Now I want to use my full name because that is who I really am."

Published: June 26, 2024