Building on the success of last year's event, we partnered with the Oregon Sports Authority and the Portland Timbers organizations to host an evening dedicated to exploring careers related to athletics.

Over 100 students from six high schools came to the University of Portland for a presentation on playing sports in college followed by a panel discussion with professionals in a variety of roles related to athletics from retail apparel to nonprofit management to ticket sales. The main takeaways?

Focus on academics

All of the presenters urged students to do their best in school, including taking classes out of their comfort zone. They talked about the importance of reading, writing and speaking in their jobs and the need for critical thinking, problem solving and time management skills.

Get hands on experience

Want to know if a job is right for you and make connections in the process? The presenters all talked about the importance of volunteering, interning and other ways of getting involved as a way to apply your education and get your foot in the door.

Build your network

It's all about relationships. So says this group of experts! They encouraged students to reach out for informational interviews and build a network of people with the careers they are interested in.

To end the event, the students had dinner with the presenters and other professionals to practice their networking, followed by a Timbers 2 (T2) game at Merlo Field.