(Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the Student Leadership Conference 2012.)
Rachel Lewis, MBA’00, recently spoke and engaged with students at the 2012 Student Leadership conference. The Student Leadership Conference is UBC’s largest student-run conference, providing over 1100 delegates with the opportunity to achieve their personal breakthroughs through engaging workshops and speakers.
Rachel Lewis is Chief Operating Officer – Whitecaps FC, and has been in the field of sport and event management for nearly a decade, prior to joining the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2003 as director of event management and stadium development.
In 2007, she assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Lewis spent three years with Vancouver’s PGA Tour Stop: the Air Canada Championship. As tournament director, she was responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations. Lewis also represented BMO Financial Group as project manager for their sponsorship of the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open. She holds a BA (honours) from the University of Victoria and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. Lewis has a strong passion for community.
She currently sits on the board of the Gastown Business Improvement Society, is a member of the International Women’s Forum, is a former Director of both Sport BC and Kidsport Canada, and is a former Trustee with the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.
She also volunteered as a member of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 Steering Committee. In 2008, Lewis was recognized as a recipient of the Business in Vancouver “40 Under 40” awards, while in 2011, she was named one of “BC’s 100 Women of Influence” by The Vancouver Sun.
Rachel’s breakthrough moment:
“As part of the UBC MBA program we were required to do a three month internship. I had always been interested in sport/event management but the job board didn’t have anything that fit and I really wasn’t sure if or how to get in the door. I also needed business experience (and to pay the rent) if I was going to be employable at the end of the program. I applied for a marketing job at a carpet manufacturing company. When they called to say I didn’t get the job I was distraught – I can’t even get a job at a carpet distribution company? That was it, I took a colleague up on the chance to meet with her Dad who volunteered for the PGA tournament in town. They needed business people to help with their sponsorship program. They couldn’t pay me but they guaranteed me great experience. It was the best decision I ever made….I loved every minute of it, and it formed the foundation for my career.”