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Student Profile: Monae Khorvash, Marketing ‘18 Pivoting Between Passions
Student Profile: Monae Khorvash, Marketing ‘18 Pivoting Between Passions

From dancing to sports medicine to sports marketing, PSU’s School of Business undergraduate Monae Khorvash has mastered the art of transition and pivoting between passions. 

She grew up in Bend, OR where she spent most of her time in the outdoors, solidifying her love of typical Pacific Northwest sports like snowboarding, golfing, and kayaking. Despite the variety of these activities and their pull on her passion, her true love was dance. 

“My original dream was to become a professional dancer, but after a few injuries I was unable to continue with that career path,” said Monae. 

Ultimately, her injuries led to an interest in pursuing a career in sports medicine. She spent her first year of undergraduate education at the University of Arizona, attending sporting events and volunteering for the athletics program. 

This dream was not meant to be, either. Monae not only missed the beauty of the Pacific Northwest but realized through participation in activities supporting athletics, that her true passion lies in sports marketing. The next step was figuring out how to achieve that goal. Applying to Portland State University made the most sense.

What specifically drew you to PSU’s School of Business?
With sports marketing on my mind, I decided I wanted to come back home to the Pacific Northwest to the hub of the footwear and outdoor industry. With Nike, Adidas and now Under Armour in our backyard, I knew this was the place for me. 

What has helped you achieve success in the program so far? 
My first year here at PSU, I didn’t know anyone and knew that I needed to find a place for myself and make my mark here. I reached out to the athletics department in hopes they had something -- anything really, for me to assist with. Shortly after, I received an offer to become a marketing and sales intern for the PSU Athletics Department. 

How do you like living, working, and studying in Portland?
Besides the insane amount of rain, I absolutely love Portland. It is such a fun, eclectic city with so much to do: sporting events, hiking in the Gorge, and tons of great food. Studying at Portland State has also been amazing. The School of Business is full of industry professionals who are all eager to help students achieve their goals. 

What is your most recent position and how long have you worked there?
Currently, I work in the PSU Athletics Department on the external marketing team as the Fan Experience Coordinator. I moved from my intern role to this new position in September of 2017. 

What do you do there? 
In my current position, my main job is to organize all in-game fan engagement elements including, music, PA announcements, promotions, cheer, dance, and sponsored elements. However, because PSU has a smaller athletics department, we are able to assist with and learn about multiple aspects of college sports marketing. My main focus is in fan engagement at games, but I have also spent time creating the Street Team. The Street Team is a group of PSU students who are passionate about sports and want to help create a sports culture at PSU.

What do you appreciate most about The School of Business?
The Athletics and Outdoor Industry Certificate, offered through the Center for Retail Leadership, has opened up so many doors for me to connect with industry professionals. Through participating in this program I have met with multiple people from Nike, Adidas, and Columbia for informational interviews. With these interviews, all I ever hope to gain is more knowledge about the industry as a whole to apply not only to my current position but future positions I hope to succeed in.

How would you like to be connected to The School of Business in the future?
I hope to help connect students who are interested in sports marketing with the athletics department at PSU. Sports marketing is such a broad career path, and the athletics department has helped me gain knowledge and experience that will allow me to branch out into many facets of the sports marketing industry.