Emily Mohlin '21 helped blaze a new trail this summer for the Department of Sport Management. Mohlin was the first Rice Sport Management student to intern with the National Women’s Hockey League, working in Operations at the NWHL headquarters in Brooklyn, NY.
The NWHL was founded in 2015 as the first professional women’s hockey league in North America. The league has grown to include nearly 100 players, including multiple United States National Team players and Olympic champions.
Mohlin’s internship with the NWHL provided an outstanding opportunity to explore her passion for advancing women’s professional sports in America. Some of her responsibilities included managing the ticketing database for two NWHL teams, contributing to the drafting of the league’s Game Operations Manual and By-Laws, and providing various advertising and research support. Throughout her work, Mohlin enjoyed a close-up view of the operations that keep a new company growing.
“One of the best parts about working at the NWHL was seeing how a new company manages day-to-day activities,” Mohlin said. “I got to see firsthand how a professional sports league handles its first-ever expansion team, its first purchase of a team by an outside owner and its first inter-league game, as well as how a 21st century company uses social media and graphic design to its advantage.”
Working in the same space as her boss and fellow interns, Mohlin enjoyed effortless communication with the employees in her office. Mohlin said her work at the NWHL felt especially impactful.
“One of the key tenets of the NWHL is ‘Every girl can dream just as big as her brother’,” Mohlin said. “Working at a company that enables young girls to dream of being professional athletes when that option had previously been unavailable to them was incredibly inspiring.”
Mohlin was able to obtain an interview for the position through Professor in the Practice Tom Stallings' connection with NWHL Founder and Commissioner Dani Rylan.
“Emily has been a fan of the National Women's Hockey League since their debut four years ago, and given that they have a relatively small front office, I knew that Emily would not only work on projects for an organization she supported, but her functions would be meaningful,” Stallings said.
Mohlin credits the Department of Sport Management with giving her the confidence and skills to pursue her internship with the NWHL so early in her college career.
“I was the youngest intern of the seven of us, and almost all of the other interns were entering their senior year of college, so I felt really grateful and lucky to be able to have such an amazing experience at my internship after only one year of school,” Mohlin said.
Mohlin said she wants to see women’s professional sports grow and become as prominent in society as men’s professional sports, and working with the NWHL has given her the chance to help accomplish that goal.
“I hope to look back in 50 years and see thriving women’s professional sports leagues worldwide, and be able to say, ‘I was a part of that from the very beginning. I helped that get started!’”
Elliot Stahr, a sophomore from Irvine, California, is majoring in Psychology and Philosophy.