Oregon GEAR UP and the Portland Timbers teamed up for a fun night of discovering just how many different careers keep three professional soccer teams (Timbers, Thorns and T2) in business.
"Being a professional athlete is a common dream among high school students, but it’s not always a realistic one," said Adrienne Enríquez, the GEAR UP program manager in charge of partnerships and strategic initiatives. "With the Timbers partnership, we get to expand students’ awareness of attainable career opportunities in professional sports."
100 students from 5 high schools heard from representatives from operations, corporate sales, group sales, and guest services during a panel discussion with ample time for Q&A. Their advice for students? Find what you love to do, get experience through school and volunteer opportunities and get to know people in the industry.
Attendees then got to practice their networking skills with Timbers staff members over dinner and watch the Timbers 2 home season finale in field-level box seats.
"I really enjoy giving these opportunities to kids and having them learn about what we do," said Jason Breiter, the Timbers group sales manager. "I thought [the event] was fantastic...the students were asking great questions, they seemed genuinely interested."