Jesse Roberts '20 Works the Invesco Tournament in Toronto

Jesse Roberts '20 Works the Invesco Tournament in Toronto

Jesse Roberts ’20, a Rice senior majoring in Sport Management, was hired to work the Invesco Tournament in Toronto, Canada, in late September.

Roberts first made the connection with the Invesco Tournament, a tennis event in which retired legends come to play exhibition matches and give exclusive VIP lessons, through the Department of Sport Management.

Jesse Roberts '20 works the Invesco Tournament

“I was asked to work the Toronto event because I volunteered last year at the Invesco Series event in Houston that was held at Rice,” Roberts said. “Professor (Tom) Stallings had been contacted by the company and they were looking for people to help. I happened to have a free week and so I contacted Stallings and he made the connection for me.”

While the work necessitated long hours, Roberts had a lot of responsibility and ownership of the event set-up.

“The event is a tennis tournament, but we held it inside a hockey arena, so we had to transform the entire ice rink in 12 hours and have it ready for the event,” Roberts said. “My responsibilities essentially included supervising hired labor, setting up our sponsors’ signage around the court, preparing the locker rooms for the tennis professionals, and setting up the VIP Party.”

Roberts credits his time working this professional event with complimenting the skills he learned in Rice Professor Diane Crossey’s Event Management class.

“I learned that there is more to events than you could ever imagine,” Roberts said. “Professor Crossey always stressed this, but it’s not until you are actually thrown into a large event that you realize just how right she is.”

Cole Derksen, a senior from Singapore, is double-majoring in Sport Management and History.