What’s next for VHS ’17: the NFL? – MyVeronaNJ
Alexis Duhaney will not stay on the sidelines.
A former student of the Verona High School class of 2017, Duhaney is now a graduate of New York University (NYU), with a major in sports management and a concentration in sports law. Although Duhaney has no plans to study sports management, her love for the sport runs deep enough that one day she hopes to be the general manager of the NFL.
Duhaney has played tennis at both VHS and the University of Miami, but his true love is football. “I really started watching football in college,” she says. “We had a parent who played for the Atlanta Falcons, so we always watched his games. While others would be content to remain a fan, Duhaney wanted to be inside the sport’s operations. “In high school the New York Jets had a day where the students could come and learn about the management and business side of the game, and it was so interesting to me. I knew then that I wanted to make a career in this field and work in football in the future.
Initially, Duhaney didn’t think she would want to work for a team: she did a Capstone internship with MyVeronaNJ as a sports reporter and began her college career at the University of Miami studying broadcast journalism. But, she says, “I realized that broadcast journalism wasn’t for me, and I didn’t always want to chase the next big story. So she sought to be transferred and eventually signed up for NYU Sports Management Major: “I really wanted to be in New York, because there are so many great sports teams there, and so many networking opportunities.
NYU sparked Duhaney’s enthusiasm for working in the sports industry. “My teachers were so passionate about the sport and they always told us stories about their favorite teams,” she says. However, just studying sports management and reading business books was not enough for Duhaney. She wanted to be a part of the squad – and in the summer of 2020, she got an internship with the NFL herself.
The NFL offers paid summer internships for undergraduate seniors and graduate students within a specific department of the league, and that’s how Duhaney worked in the NFL’s youth football division. . “Unfortunately, everything was virtual this year because of the pandemic,” she says. “But I still had a great experience and worked with three other interns to increase the outreach skills of youth in the league.” The camp ended with a presentation to league officials of the Duhaney and Team Draft, a program in which college footballers submitted videos of themselves performing playing techniques, with a winner selected at the end of the week. “It was nerve-racking to make a presentation to the leaders, but the NFL ended up embracing some aspects of our project in the Nike 11-Online program ”, an online portal for students to acquire flag football skills.
Duhaney recognizes that working in professional sports is not always easy, especially as a woman. “We can’t really play professional football, and there are so few women who work as coaches, who work as managers, who work in operations.” But, says Duhaney, “The NFL really tried to raise awareness among women, and I felt so supported during my internship, both by other girls and men in the league.” Duhaney also recognizes her own desire to serve as a role model for other girls who hope to work in professional sports: “I think more women should definitely get involved in this, and I think my goals are just that. a part.
Ultimately, however, Duhaney worked with the NFL because she loves the game, so even after her internship ended, she sought a job with a college football team in New York City and ended up working as an intern for Fordham his final year. “I kind of did a little bit of everything,” she says. “I was filming the games and training, organizing the logistics, making sure everything was in order when the team left. Actually, I’m glad I got to work with a small team in Division 1, because in big schools interns can only do one thing. But I was able to work fully with the team, and it was great to live this experience. “
Duhaney’s favorite part of his Fordham internship was getting to know the players and actively engaging with the organization. “Players have to memorize complex games, they have to communicate with each other in a fraction of a second, they have to trust each other fully and work as a unit.” Football is a highly choreographed sport and Duhaney recognizes the precision and focus required of players to execute each game. But, she adds, “I really enjoy getting to know everyone and working on the plane both. management and the sporting side of things. “
Duhaney is hoping to start working for the NFL as a scout and has already secured interviews with several teams. “I want to become a GM eventually, and most GMs start out as scouts,” she says. “It’s a leadership role, and that’s my strength. I want to be able to choose who is on my team, to know what is happening on the commercial and managerial side. Duhaney admits that GM is a long-term goal, and that it takes time and patience to work your way up the leadership ladder of a team: “But, I know that’s what I want to do, because that I want to stay in football – and I’m ready to go up from the bottom.
“What’s Next” is a series of profiles on what members of each class at Verona High School plan to do after graduation. MyVeronaNJ has been publishing the series since 2010 and you can read them all here.