Chiefs Partnership Gives UMKC Students a Backstage Pass to Champion Team’s Front Office

Stadium tours, job shadowing and leadership lunches are among the unique opportunities
UMKC students pose for group photo on the field at Arrowhead Stadium

Trying on Super Bowl rings and standing on the sidelines of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. This is a day in the life of a UMKC student with the university’s new partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The partnership is focused on opportunities for students to learn from the Chiefs front office staff. During the first five months of the five-year partnership, students have attended several leadership lunches and a shadowing day at the Chiefs training facility. Also as part of the partnership, scholarships, internships and fellowships will be available exclusively to UMKC students.
UMKC students walking down the red carpeted hallway on the second floor of the Chiefs training facility by the stairs
Students attending the leadership lunches and shadowing day have learned from a number of Chiefs staff members, including the chief financial officer, vice president of accounting, project director of manufacturing, engineering, plumbing and construction, vice president of player services and assessment, director of player engagement and more.

“We’re giving an opportunity for students to understand all the different lines of work we do here and skillsets that our employees have,” said Kim Hobbs, Chiefs Vice President of Partnership Strategy and Development.

UMKC Men of Color Academy students pose for a group photo with Ramzee Robinson of the Kansas City Chiefs in front of UMKC and Chiefs backdrop

Student groups First Gen Roo, Professional Career Escalators and Men of Color Academy attended leadership lunches both on the UMKC campus and the Chiefs practice facility. Men of Color Academy is a cohort-based program that encourages academic achievement, leadership and personal growth. Program director JaVon Hill says that this partnership is a game-changer for students.
UMKC students spending time with Kansas City Chiefs Ramzee Robinson and Rooing Up in front of the UMKC and Chiefs back drop
“This dynamic partnership between UMKC and the Chiefs unlocks a world of possibilities for our students,” Hill said. “They are fortunate to be part of this unique relationship that will open doors to unparalleled access and networks, serve as a direct launchpad for empowerment, spark inspiration and fuel innovation all at the same time.”

Students in the Professional Career Escalators program have benefited from these open doors, literally, with a shadowing day spent at the Chiefs practice facility and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Students in this program – which emphasizes professional experiences in the health-care, education, business, engineering, law and justice fields – had unparalleled access to top-level staff members. Much of their time was spent in small groups with staff members to learn about their jobs and career fields and make valuable connections.
UMKC students on the roof of arrowhead stadium with their mentor of the day looking over the field
Juan Owens attended the shadowing day just before graduating from UMKC with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He spent the day with Shaun Tyrance, Ph.D., vice president of player services and assessment. In his role, Tyrance focuses on all aspects of behavioral health, wellness and performance psychology for all club employees, including players, coaches and staff. Owens said that the opportunity to talk with Tyrance was invaluable to his own career aspirations. Graduate school may be in Owens’ future, and he credits the shadowing day with helping define what that may look like.
UMKC students at Arrowhead stadium walking through the chiefs branded tunnel that leads them straight on to the field that the chiefs play on
“I got to learn what exactly it is to be a sports psychologist,” Owens said. “I understand more what it takes to be that person and what I can do in my own community. Where I come from, there’s not a lot of resources, so this opportunity means a lot.”
UMKC students standing in front of  Arrowhead stadium listening to the instructor and getting ready for the stadium tour
Beyond spending time with Chiefs’ front-office staff, the students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes stadium tour and learned about the history of the organization and the Hunt family. The opportunity to spend time at a world-championship organization is a lesson in success.
UMKC Students participating in the stadium tour during their shadow day and viewing all three of the Super Bowl Vince Lombardi Trophies through the glass at arrowhead stadium
“This opportunity to really engage with front-office leadership, learn about their career trajectories and connect with our students is powerful,” said Mako Miller, director of the Professional Career Escalators program. “Having such a recognized organization interact with our students in various ways shows a commitment to their career and leadership development. The Chiefs are providing this “behind-the-scenes” look at how an entity like a professional sports team operates and all that it takes to have a successful team.”

Published: Jan 25, 2024

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