Rising Stars Spotlight: Monaé Khorvash & Natasha Black

Monaé and Natasha recently started as interns for Women Leaders! A #WLS18 graduate, Monaé was encouraged to get involved by her former AD at Portland State, Val Cleary. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Portland State and served as a marketing intern within the athletics department. After a year she transitioned into a full-time role as a fan experience coordinator. At Women Leaders in College Sports she will serve as a marketing intern. Natasha received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Hawaii, Manoa while competing for the track team as a pole vaulter. She has spent the last year at University of Nevada, Reno pursuing a Master's of Arts in Educational Leadership and Sports Management. She came to Women Leaders through a recommendation of a past Women Leaders president, Cary Groth. The focus of Natasha's internship at Women Leaders is special projects.


What brought you to Women Leaders in College Sports? (Natasha)

I was lucky enough to connect with Women Leaders through my graduate advisor and professor Cary Groth. I told Cary I was moving to Kansas City, and she connected me with Patti Phillips and her team within days. It was such a big jump moving to Kansas City, but I have been so fortunate to have joined this organization.

What are your career goals after this internship? (Monaé)

I always love this question because I feel like there are so many directions that you can go in your career, especially in marketing. So, it’s hard to say exactly where I want to be because I might not know that the job for me even exists! As of right now, my career goal is to work at the Nike World Headquarters on the College Sports Marketing team. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? (Natasha)

My mom has always told me to embrace failure and that is something I am constantly working on. Some of my greatest life lessons have come from giant failures so I try to approach all failures with a positive attitude.

What is your favorite quote? (Monaé)

“Wherever you go, whatever you do, make yourself irreplaceable.” – Joeleen Akin (Spoiler alert: this is from an upcoming Women Leaders Podcast episode!)
This quote is something that I think we should all live by on a daily basis. In the office, we are always saying how every day you are interviewing. Even in your current position, you are interviewing for that next position, and proving to your current management or peers that you network with why they should champion for you. Even as an intern, I hope that I can make an impact enough for my management to say, “Monae is irreplaceable”!

What keeps you motivated? (Natasha)

My family definitely plays a huge role in keeping me motivated. I’m lucky to have such a supportive family that inspires me every day.

What are some of your go-to musical artists? (Monaé)

My favorite artist right now is the band Coast Modern. I saw them perform in Portland and fell in love—perfect summer vibes.

Who is your #BecauseOf? Who helped you become the rock-star leader you are today? (Monaé)

My #BecauseOf is my mom (Elsa) and Val Cleary. Without both of these women I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to move half way across the country to Kansas City and work at the amazing Women       Leaders head office. My mom has always taught me to be strong, independent, and to fight for what I believe in, and Val introduced me to this amazing organization and championed for me every step of the way.

If you could give one piece of advice to other Rising Stars, what would it be? (Natasha)

Take advantage of the networking resources around you! One of the best things about working with powerful women is that they know other powerful women who want to help you.

Rising Stars is a members-only program designed to assist emerging professionals in developing, connecting, and advancing in their careers. If you're a student, intern, graduate assistant, or young professional with less than three years of full-time experience, this is the program for you!

Joining is easy: First, follow the Rising Stars community. Click here, then select "Follow Community" on the right-hand side. (You must be logged into your Women Leaders account).

Once you've joined, you're automatically opted in to receive the Rising Stars monthly newsletter, you'll be invited to Rising Stars Circle calls, you can join our closed Facebook group, and you'll hear from past Rising Stars Award recipients about how they kicked glass and exceeded all expectations!

If you have questions or problems logging in, contact Megan Cairns.