Women in Sports Profile: Trail Blazers' Christa Stout
In her role with the Blazers, Christa Stout is responsible for the strategy, development, planning, and execution of the Trail Blazers’ community involvement.
In her role with the Blazers, Christa Stout is responsible for the strategy, development, planning, and execution of the Trail Blazers’ community involvement.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The third “Women in Sports” career seminar, presented by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, will be held on Sat., April 8 in Portland, Ore.

Designed for college and high school females interested in pursuing sports-related careers, the seminar will take place at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum.

The event will feature panelists from a broad cross-section of occupational paths, including coaching, administration, business, marketing, media, media relations, NCAA compliance, sports medicine, ticket sales and officiating. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with — and seek career advice from — a slate of experienced sports professionals in a round-table format.

Below is a profile on a panelist who will be featured at this year's event.

Position: Vice President, Social Responsibility
Colleges Attended: Connecticut College; Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey
College Major: Sociology; Psychology
Years In Current Position: 3 years

Primary Job Responsibilities: Oversee social impact, environmental impact, Trail Blazers Foundation, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion and youth basketball.

Things You Enjoy Most About Your Job: Using the power of sport to have a positive impact on peoples' lives and the environment. I enjoy the variety. Every day is different and my days go by too fast. Working with people and constantly getting to meet and connect with smart and engaging people internally and externally in various sectors -- corporate, nonprofit, sports, schools, etc.

Why You Pursued A Professional Career In The Athletics Industry: To combine my passion for business and social/environmental impact through a medium I'm passionate about and that had a big impact on me, sports.

First Job In The Sports Industry: Portland Timbers, 2011-2014.

A Key Mentor Who Helped You On Your Career Path: Hannah Jones at Nike and Julie Mancini at College Possible.

Most Influential Person In Your Early Professional Development: Hannah Jones. She gave me clear advice on what kind of experience I needed to get to be qualified to do what I ultimately wanted to do (CSR in the sports/brand industry).

Biggest Hurdle You Overcame Breaking Into The Sports Industry: Not having sports experience and getting into the industry in my late 20s with a mostly non-profit background. I had to learn the industry fast. I got hired as a coordinator in corporate partnerships in June of 2011 and was the director of community relations by early August of that year, so it was a steep learning curve.

Key Attributes That Have Helped Shape Your Career Path: "Success" is in the eye of the beholder. What I think has contributed to me getting where I am today is work stamina (ability to focus and work for long and late hours), adaptability and moving on (sometimes you put a lot of work into things that don't work out), not being afraid of 'failure', saying yes even if I wasn't sure how I was going to get something done, whether it's moving to a new country for a new job, or accepting a new challenge at work. We are all resourceful. We figure things out, even if we must figure it out while we're doing it.

Looking Back, What Is One Thing That You Would Do In College Or Early On To Help You Along Your Career Path? I think that working and doing internships during the school year (and over the summer) helped me get a good sense of where my strengths were, and what I wanted to do (and didn't want to do). I had 2-3 jobs at a time from when I was 15 until I started at the Timbers (when I was 28), so I learned a lot about how to work hard, how to get along with a lot of different people and I met people who could write recommendations or at least vouch for me and my work ethic. I also took every opportunity I could to learn from the people I was working with -- doing informational interviews and asking questions I wanted to know the answers to. It didn't matter what the jobs were early on -- lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, doing the athletic department's laundry, checking people into the gym, filing papers at a local nonprofit, bartending, etc. You can learn something from every experience if you're paying attention.

Best Advice You Would Give To A Young Female Wanting To Work In Sports: Figure out why you want to work in sports, then get as much experience as possible (internships, part-time jobs, etc) in various departments to get to know the business and figure out where your strengths align. Be willing to live anywhere.

Favorite Sports Teams: Men's: Blazers; Women's: MTK (Hungarian soccer team)

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Dame's game 6 buzzer beater!