On Friday, May 13, I spent the day at Roc Nation. I was granted access through the UWANTGAME program that gives students the opportunity to shadow the jobs of employees while at work. It was an honor to be able to visit the building because Roc Nation is a major agency that represents top athletes and music artists. What makes the company even better is the man who it’s run by, Mr. Shawn Carter himself, aka Jay Z. An international rap star who started struggling in New York City, just like me and the millions of other kids around the city.
I walked in the building with a huge smile on my face and left with an even greater one. I had the opportunity of shadowing Jose Mena. Jose works in the Philanthropy department and runs many non-for-profit organizations that help enrich and strengthen communities everywhere. That was a perfect department for me to be in because I participate in non-profit activities all the time.
I used to run “Back to School” drives to make sure kids in the community had backpacks and other supplies to get them through the school year. Working with Jose was a blast, as I learned some more skills that I can definitely use in my everyday life. Reaching out to others and taking the initiative is what makes others want to follow in our lead. The meeting was exciting and so was running into the many other employees who keep the place running and gave us advice on how to be great and to follow our dreams as we continue to study hard.
At the end of the day we were surprised with gifts from Roc Nation. I was quite thankful for this experience and would love to go back again. I will continue to keep in contact with those I met at Roc Nation in hopes of interning there in the summer or go in whenever they would like me to.
My experience at the National Football League (NFL) office was unique and different from any other offices I’ve visited. I personally enjoyed my visit because I learned the different things they do there and what they plan to do in the upcoming years.
One thing I enjoyed from my experience at the office was that each floor had a different designated meaning and purpose. For example, the NFL occupied the 5th, 6th, 7th floors of the building; the 5th floor’s meaning was the game, 6th was the fans and the 7th was executive (I believe that’s the order).
We also met a former player, Roman Oben, that day. While talking to him, we learned of the duties of an NFL player and the process of getting drafted and traded throughout his 12-year career. We also got a chance to observe the 49 Super Bowl rings – all the way from the first one ever. Each ring was designed differently, even if the team won consecutively. There we learned that the team with the most Super Bowl rings is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
We also got the opportunity to attend a photo shoot, where they were shooting teams’ accessories and meals to eat throughout a football game. We learned that there is a lot of different merchandise sold to fans that can be used throughout a football game. We were also shown how the League designs new logos and were given a look of the new designs for the next season.
During our visit we were also given gift bags with football gloves (of our favorite team), a notepad whose cover is made up of the same material as the football (which was my favorite gift!) and two hats (one of the NFL and one of our favorite team).
I was truly happy to visit such a successful business and hope to work in the same offices or somewhere close to that field one day.
On Tuesday, June 7, UWANTGAME hosted its annual Bowling Benefit for NYC high school students at Bowlmor Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. A packed room filled with students from the Business of Sports School, student-athletes from Castle Athletics’ 15U AAU team, kids from the Youth Leaders of Emmanuel Church, Brooklyn’s South Shore HS girls’ basketball team and select youth from the Shawn Carter Foundation mingled with sports business executives, as a game of bingo and — of course— intense bowling competition allowed for the diverse group of kids to learn more about the executives’ careers, many of whom work for the NBA, NFL, MLB, Madison Square Garden and Roc Nation Sports, among the multiple of other supporting entities in attendance.
A social media contest — with an XBOX 360 on the line — had guests looking to creatively snap their best photos from the night. In the end, an abundance of photos from the Castle Athletics’ 15U team gave them the edge and ultimately took home the gaming console as a group, which they now plan to take with them on the road for when they hit tournaments on the AAU circuit this summer.
A silent auction, with items such as tickets to upcoming concerts, MLB and NFL games, as well as autographed apparel from NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA players (including Kobe Bryant) — among other memorabilia, took place behind the bowling lanes. Participants stopped by the auction after grabbing a bite to eat from the nearby complimentary catered food spread.
We want to thank everyone who attended this year’s UWG Bowling Benefit and contributed not only to the organization’s future initiatives in the community but also for making it a memorable experience for the HS students in attendance. We look forward to announcing our future partnerships and programs for the 2016-2017 school year in the very near future, and continuing to utilize sports as a vehicle to bring career development and life skills programs, as well as college scholarship opportunities, to high school students.
In the meantime, scroll through the photo gallery above by clicking on the sides of each photo to see moments from the special night!
When I first heard about the opportunity to job shadow Cherise George at Madison Square Garden, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I was just going to Madison Square Garden to sit all day in an office, but it actually wasn’t like that at all. This opportunity had me on the field—hands-on—interacting and communicating as if I worked there.
When I first got there and I met Cherise, after speaking we noticed that we had a lot of similarities. We play basketball, we both tore our ACLs, and we’re both young black women. Meeting Cherise was a really good experience for me because I had the chance to meet new people that helped me gain confidence to step out of my comfort zone to try different things and create connections for the future.
The most memorable thing that happened to me that night was when I first got there and got to sit down with Cherise. She told me about herself and what she does, and I felt very comfortable when speaking with her. Cherise works on bringing the Knicks organization to different communities and she helps kids that either can’t afford to come to Madison Square Garden or just never been before. She gives kids a chance to gain skills and experience to work in a basketball environment with people that know the game.
The day I went to work at MSG, Cherise told me her job was to bring a young basketball team filled with boys and girls to play a 5-on-5-basketball game during halftime of the Knicks vs. Indiana Pacers game. After looking at the kids that were picked to play, you can tell that these kids were so excited to be there and were happy to experience playing a sport they love. They wore Junior Knicks uniforms, they had substitutes, they got to sit on the Knicks and Pacers bench, and they had the whole crowd watching them play. It was almost like getting a real glimpse of playing in an NBA game. These are the opportunities that kids around the world won’t have but because Cherise has a big heart she helps kids get this experience.
Mia Hall, a writer, public speaker and career strategist with 10+ years of experience working for the WNBA, Barclays Center and Black Enterprise (just to name a few), was among the guest speakers at UWANTGAME’s Women in Sports Panel Discussion on March 23, 2016 in New York City’s Business of Sports School. In the video above, Mia Hall speaks on some of the topics she discussed with the students, including the importance of mentorship programs for the youth, and teaching the next generation about networking, staying in touch and obtaining internship opportunities as ways to kickstart their careers.
On March 23, 2016, UWANTGAME hosted its monthly sports business panel discussion for NYC high school seniors at the Business of Sports School. The theme of this particular session focused on “Women in Sports” and therefore featured successful female sports executives as guest speakers. The panel consisted of Morgan Cato (Senior Manager of Early Career Development at the NBA), Carla Lide (Player Engagement Coordinator at the NFL), Guiselle Torres (Senior Counsel at the MLS), Mia Hall (Writer, Public Speaker & Career Strategist), and Shana Stephenson (Editor-in-Chief of All Sports Everything).
Among the topics of discussion were the paths each took to discover their respective passions within the sports industry, the experiences that shaped their career development, and some of the mentors that helped lead the way for them, among other themes.
Check out the video above to hear some of the advice the guest speakers gave students at last month’s panel discussion.