In recognition of Women's History Month, the Chargers are highlighting an employee each week in the month of March. Today's spotlight is on Kavita Dhillon, who is the Director of Game Presentation for the Chargers. Kavita grew up in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and completed her Marketing Management Diploma at Langara College, and went on to complete her B.A. in Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences with concentration in Sport Management at University of Pacific.
Did you always have a desire to work in sports?
When I was young, in some capacity I did desire to work in sports. At the age of 10, I wanted to "play in the NBA." I loved basketball, and playing sports in general but never imagined I could work on the business side of sports.
I was working on my associates in marketing management, in Vancouver, B.C. – still unsure what industry I would work in – when I had the chance to participate in the Disney International College Program. It was during this program in Orlando, where I spoke to other American students who were in sport management programs, that the desire to work in the professional sports industry was sparked!
How'd you get your start?
My first role in this industry was part of a Co-Op program while I was still at Langara College in Vancouver. The experience of working for the BC Lions as a Corporate Partnership Associate affirmed my desire to work in the industry – which led me to apply, and ultimately be accepted, to the Sport Management program at University of the Pacific. Through the program at Pacific, I had to do two internships, one of which was with the Sacramento Kings. My experience working within the organization for about four years in a few different departments allowed me to find the area of the industry I found to be the best fit for me – Game Presentation.
What is the most rewarding part of your job and why?
The most rewarding part of my job has to be atmosphere and fan responses during game day. The majority of our efforts in Game Presentation are towards creating an engaging fan experience, so hearing fans excited or emotional responses are super gratifying!
Tell us about a woman that has inspired you and/or impacted your career in today.
My Aunt, Monika Deol, who was the first Indian personalities to host a national TV show in North America, remains a special woman who both inspired and impacted my career in such a significant way. She encouraged and advocated for me to follow my passion in sports. A phrase she said to me, when I was young, which stuck with me and has proven true is, "If you work hard now, you'll be able to enjoy life much more later." And she has never stopped being a mentor and cheerleader throughout my journey navigating in the industry!
Real or fake, dead or alive, who is one woman would you want to have dinner with? Why?
Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes are both woman I would want to have dinner with because I'm a big fan of their ability to evoke emotion through film/TV. I think it would be interesting to hear them talk about what they do to impact that emotional response on a consistent basis.
What advice do you have for those trying to get into sports/starting their career in the sports industry?
For those interested in starting a career in the sports industry, I would advise using 2 keys:
- Networking – Participate in networking events or initiate your own efforts to have conversations with others in our industry; learn about others' career paths, have conversations about the areas/path you're most interested in and build relationships with mentor(s).
- Keep an open-mind / yes-mentality – Be open to internships, volunteer, and work experience opportunities that may not be in the exact area you're interested in working in, at least to start. Real-world experience is highly valued in our fast-paced and competitive industry. Once you have a foot in the door, you can use network and real-world experience to navigate into the area that you're most interested in.
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