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New Jersey Youth Soccer

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Aug, 2023

NJYS Interns Khiesa Granger and Sebastian Gomez Reflect on Experience

Meredith Waropay, NJ Youth Soccer

This past spring, Khiesa Granger and Sebastian Gomez interned at New Jersey Youth Soccer as they were completing their degrees in Sports Management at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Sharing a passion for soccer and a desire to work professionally in the sports industry, the internships provided Khiesa and Sebastian with valuable experience that will assist them in their career pursuits.

Khiesa Granger grew up playing soccer in Trinidad and Tobago for two club teams and the top ranked St. Anthony’s high school team.

“It was this culture that helped instill my strong passion for the beautiful game, and my desire to help grow the game wherever I go,” Khiesa reflected.

After moving to the United States in 2019, Khiesa attended Essex County Community College with aspirations of playing soccer. However, he tore his adductor muscle which took three years to fully rehabilitate.

Once he received his Associate Degree in Business Administration, Khiesa transferred to Rutgers and played for its Men’s Club Soccer Team, where he helped them qualify for the first national tournament in the team’s history.

“I specifically chose NJ Youth Soccer because of my desire to see soccer grow in the US and their emphasis on providing opportunities for aspiring youth soccer players,” Khiesa said regarding his decision to intern with NJ Youth Soccer.

Sebastian Gomez began playing soccer at a young age and spent most of his club career with the Dover Strikers in his hometown of Dover, New Jersey. He also played for the Dover High School Soccer Team throughout the entirety of the time he attended high school. Additionally, he is a Grade 8 USSF Referee for Morris County Youth Soccer Association (MCYSA) and EDP.

“I chose to target NJ Youth Soccer because I knew that I could learn a lot about different professionals with tons of experience, get a behind the scenes look at how youth soccer here in the state is progressing, and learn new soft and hard skills to take on to my next role,” Sebastian stated.

Khiesa and Sebastian looked back on what they learned throughout the course of their internship at NJ Youth Soccer.

“NJ Youth Soccer taught me how to prepare for large soccer events like award ceremonies, soccer tournaments and meetings,” Khiesa remarked. “It also taught me how to implement different soccer policies and programs like the ‘Let’s Play’ soccer initiative.”

“During my time at NJYS, I learned that there are tons of pieces that need to go together in order for an event to be successful,” Sebastian commented. “For example, the State Cup Finals were months of preparation, from various meetings, outlines, bracket creation, setup, breakdown and small details in between.”

When asked about a standout experience during the internship, Khiesa answered, “My favorite experience from the internship was seeing how the youth soccer system operates in New Jersey behind the scenes.”

When asked the same question, Sebastian responded, “My favorite experience from this internship was the Awards Dinner, being able to help out with planning it, setting up, and being behind the scenes was awesome. On the day of the dinner, to see all the recipients and families dressed up, excited to be recognized, that put a smile on my face.”

Since completing their internships with NJ Youth Soccer, Sebastian and Khiesa continue to set goals for themselves. Khiesa aspires to start a soccer coaching academy as well as work in administration for a soccer organization. Sebastian hopes to obtain a full-time role in the sports industry now that he has graduated. This summer, he worked with the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Following the completion of their internships, both individuals provided advice for fellow students interested in an internship with NJ Youth Soccer.

“Be a sponge and absorb as much information as possible from the elite hierarchy of the organization,” Khiesa noted. “Savor each moment as it will be over in the blink of an eye.”

“Come eager to learn and help out,” Sebastian added. “There are many ways to get involved. Just listen, observe and stay on top of your tasks assigned. Do not be afraid to ask questions, and pick the team’s brain.”

To learn more about internship opportunities with NJ Youth Soccer, please contact us at [email protected].

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Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey Youth Soccer

3 Paragon Way, Suite 400
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Phone: 609-490-0725
Email: [email protected]
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