UPIKE alum begins career with Oakland Athletics

When California native Kaitlyn Welsh first came to University of Pikeville to continue her volleyball career in 2015, she was anxious about the transition to a new environment, people and lifestyle in Eastern Kentucky. 

“I wanted to get out of the bay area and experience a new part of the country,” said Welsh.

Head UPIKE Volleyball Coach Obed Quiles and Assistant Volleyball Coach Haley Valentino were there to help with the transition and became mentors for Welsh. 

“They brought me into their life like I was their family,” said Welsh. “Both are amazing coaches.”

Both Quiles and Valentino remember Welsh as a leader among her teammates.

“She is a thoughtful person and a great motivator,” said Quiles. “She always set a good example for the team.”

During Welsh’s experience at UPIKE she also served as a resident assistant and became involved in many activities, which she says helped prepare her for future endeavors. After graduating in December 2017 with her business management degree, she was ready to move back to California and pursue her career.

Valentino noticed a passion in Welsh during her time on the hill that would serve her well after graduation.

“Welsh is very driven. She knows what she wants and will not settle for less,” said Valentino.

In June 2018, after unsuccessfully being able to locate a job application online, she initiated a phone call to the manager of major league baseball team Oakland Athletics. Welsh’s determination, accompanied by a nontraditional hiring process, was advantageous in affording her the opportunity to serve as an account executive for group sales and hospitality. 

Welsh focuses on bringing new business to the Oakland A’s through group outings and she oversees several heritage nights.

Welsh’s advice for current and future students is to take advantage of the limitless opportunities at UPIKE. 

 “Don’t be afraid to pursue something big,” said Welsh. “This school in the mountains taught me more about life than I could have ever imagined.”