Amy Czyz ’15, a Sport Management major at Rice University and goalkeeper for the Rice women’s soccer team, spent the past summer interning with the Houston Dash in their inaugural season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
As the official Executive Intern, Czyz worked under former Houston Dynamo player Brian Ching, who is now the Managing Director of the Dash, as well as the Operations team. Her responsibilities in the office ranged from registering and clearing the players during preseason to planning team community relations efforts, and on game days she was the visiting team liaison and facilitator for post-match meet and greets.
The professional soccer scene is a familiar environment for Czyz. Her resume includes internships with two other soccer teams: the Bay Area Breeze and the San Jose Earthquakes. Those experiences made her an invaluable addition to the young Dash staff.
One of the challenges she and her colleagues faced was attempting to break into an already infiltrated market in a city with dominant sport teams like the Texans and Astros.
“Women’s soccer isn’t a target spectator sport,” Czyz said. “The added difficulty of being a new team made it a ‘learn as you go’ process, and we had to figure out quickly how to operate most efficiently to get the team off the ground.”
Looking back, Czyz believes her internship was integral in understanding the current state of the league and its potential.
“Soccer, specifically the women’s game, is a huge passion of mine,” Czyz said. “In the long run I would love to see a league that is sustainable, so a goal of mine is to play as large a role as possible in its development.”
Her favorite part of the experience? “Being so closely involved in an organization that I believe in and support so much,” Czyz said. “Working beside some of the athletes I’ve grown up looking up to as role models and talking with U.S. Women’s National Team roster players are memories I’ll definitely take with me.”
As for the future, Czyz is exploring her options in pursuit of landing a job upon graduation. Through her many Sport Management internships, Czyz has gained many skills. Czyz ideally would like to find a job where those skills coincide with her passions of athletics, philanthropy, and people.
Dominique Bessette, a senior from Antioch, IL, is majoring in Sport Management and minoring in Business.