Twenty-five Poughkeepsie district students spent the day at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, going behind the scenes with New Jersey Jets executives to learn about the business and different career opportunities.
Jets Sports Business Day is an annual event put on by the team for any school interested in sending students.
Students get to tour inside and outside the stadium and have 10 stops on the tour.
“At each one, they hear from a different executive – finance, sales etc. They learn what goes on behind the scenes,” Henry Messinger, senior account executive with the Jets said, adding that they get to see the stadium from the perspective of the players, the wealthy who have private boxes and the staff.
This is the first time Poughkeepsie students had a trip like this. It was part of the MBK and Sister2Sister programs.
Students get to learn about the variety of careers there are in the sports business and hear from the people in those jobs how they got into the role and what they recommend students who are interested in a similar job do, Messinger said. Students learn it’s not just about being an athlete or coach.
“That’s one of the biggest things they took away,” coach Jason Conrad, who works with the MBK program, said. “They may not see it as of yet, but they will recognize it later on.”
At the end of each presentation, there is time for a short question and answer session.
Senior Kasai Hinds learned to not put all his eggs in one basket, after hearing from a current Jets employee who desired to be an actor at first but when that plan fell through, joined the organization over 10 years ago. “If you know you can do something else, try and see,” Hinds said. “If Plan A doesn’t work, always have a Plan B.”
Junior Jameel Richardson echoed Hinds’ thoughts about exploring all possibilities and said the trip “was an interesting experience.”
PCSD’s Executive Director of School Engagement Da’Ron Wilson arranged the trip which was paid for through the MBK grant. The cost of $50 per attendee helps offset the cost of the stadium rental since the Jets don’t own the facility and includes a ticket to a game in the fall “so they can see it come to fruition,” Messinger said.
“Exposure is huge for students,” Conrad said, adding that he hopes to bring more students in the future.