In celebration of Women’s History Month, Fire Juniors and Chicago Fire FC hosted our first Career Day with Women of CFFC on March 25th. Twenty-five players from all four Chicago Fire Juniors clubs took part in a virtual career day and mentoring sessions. The players were joined by five women of Chicago Fire FC staff; Kacey Anderson, Manager of Marketing and eSports, Justyne Freud, Director of Communications, Laura Warren, Chicago Fire General Counsel, Latandra Williams, IT Specialist, Jessica Yavitz, VP of Community Relations and Executive Director of Chicago Fire Foundation.
The players heard backgrounds on all of the women, their current role, their career path, and what interests them outside of work. They then got the chance to converse with the panelists in small group settings, learning about their career highs, advice for networking, and unique challenges that the women face in the industry. Along with gaining industry knowledge, the players were able to ask more personal questions, learning which Hogwarts house the panelists belonged to, where they hope to travel next, and what sports they all played growing up.
The event wrapped up with a competitive round of trivia to see what each of the participants learned about the women on staff. Ava Stern from CFJ City outshone the group in her memory of facts on the panelists earning bragging rights and a SOCCER.com gift card for her win!
Providing opportunities like this for our players to learn about roles on and off the field is an important part of our development plans. While it is easy to see professional pathways for athletes on the field, often players are unaware of all that goes on behind the scenes. Panelist Latandra Williams shared, “Career days are important glimpse into the future and necessary to show the youth that anything is possible.” Having an opportunity from a young age to learn from successful women in the sports industry is rare and we know our participants walked away with a clearer idea of what jobs are available and role models to help them get there. The Fire Juniors is grateful to all of our panelists and moderators for helping put on a successful event!