It is no secret that student athletes understand the value of hard work. However, few arguably understand it as much as Brooke Kuhlman.
As a senior on the FSU beach volleyball team, Kuhlman has excelled both on and off the court.
Last season she helped lead her team to a National Runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. She finished in the top-10 among her team with 25 wins, spending the majority of the season paired with Molly McBain. The two picked up eight ranked wins throughout the course of 2018, including a win in the National Championship match.
“We had great seniors last year,” Kuhlman said when asked about last season. “I definitely learned a lot from them and definitely kind of came out of my shell a little bit last year and became more of a leader. I’m really looking forward to capitalizing on that this year and feel comfortable leading everyone. Everyone kind of respects me in the sense of working hard and being a leader.”As a sophomore, she was named an AVCA All-American and earned All-CCSA First Team Honors with her partner Leigh Andrew. The two defeated 14 ranked teams, including leading Florida State to the program’s first win over Pepperdine in school history.
In each of her first three seasons, Kuhlman was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll and has pushed herself to become more involved beyond the court. She is currently a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and has obtained various internships throughout her collegiate experience.
Kuhlman spent this past summer just outside of Portland, Oregon, interning at Nike headquarters.
“A lot of girls on our team in the past have done the Nike internship,” Kuhlman said on obtaining the internship. “Coming into my freshman year I was like ‘I really want to get that, that sounds so awesome,’ from hearing about all of their experiences. So, I applied for that and ended up getting it this past summer. I interned with Nike Skateboarding, which is a little different than what I’m used to obviously.”
Throughout the summer, Kuhlman’s daily routine consisted of an early-morning workout before heading into the office around 8:00 a.m. She worked primarily with Nike Skateboarding’s marketing department, which meant sitting in a variety of different meetings while working to market Nike Skateboarding to the public.
Kuhlman spent the summer working primarily on two projects. The first was working to refresh Nike’s Honor Roll Skate Club, which involved working with after-school skateboarding programs to help develop both the skillset and fitness of young skateboarders.
Her second project was planning a Women Ambassadors Summit to get women more involved with the sport while expanding Nike Skateboarding to the female market. While working on putting this project together, she helped to identify ambassadors for Nike Skateboarding in addition to planning the event.
“It was a three-day event that I got to plan with one other intern and we showed them around Nike and Portland,” Kuhlman said of the project. “We brought them there towards the end of the internship, so I was actually there when the event launched, which was really cool. It was awesome because a lot of the interns were working on a project that would be launched like a year later, but I got to work on a project that I actually got to see happen towards the end of my internship.
“It was so cool because I wasn’t expecting it, I had no idea what my project was coming into that, but it was great to see all of my hard work come together.”
Now back in Tallahassee, her focus has shifted to preparing for her final season as a member of the beach volleyball team, and continuing to work as a member of SAAC and as an intern for the Seminole Sports Marketing department. She is doing so all while enduring her responsibilities as a student.
Kuhlman’s work ethic is evident in both her heavy involvement and her successes within. She is most certainly an example to all around her, especially for many of her young teammates.
“Brooke is someone that I love to coach,” head coach Brooke Niles says. “She works so hard every single day. Not only is she an amazingly gifted athlete, but she is one of the most competitive players I’ve ever coached. She doesn’t like to lose in anything and she is constantly bringing out the best in her teammates. The best part about Brooke is that her character, work ethic, and loyalty all set an amazing example for her teammates.”
It is clear that Kuhlman has made the most of her time at Florida State. From her successes on the court to the experience she has gained from it, she is the example of a well-rounded individual. She credits such experiences to the sport she has excelled in for so long.
“I feel like [beach] volleyball has just opened up so may doors for me,” Kuhlman says. “I was really fortunate to get an offer from Florida State, which is a top beach volleyball program and a great university. It’s met everything that I expected. I’ve made really great friends that I’ll stay in touch with and I’ve been able to have fun through it all.”