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Rookie Career Accelerator

The Rookie Career Accelerator emboldens women athletes in their early years in the workplace to grow as authentic leaders, build professional skills, develop a team of support, and embrace career ambition.

Through innovative retreats, monthly learning labs, access to mentors, and interactive development experiences, the Rookie Career Accelerator provides a one of a kind career building experience that supports women athletes in the early years of their career.

The Rookie Career Accelerator launches in September 2021 in the Twin Cities with the first cohort of women athletes, and the inaugural program runs through May 2022.  The experience begins with a full day retreat where participants are immersed in self-exploration, leadership and career development, and community building. Through monthly learning labs and mentor support, athletes continue to develop the tools to lead authentically and inclusively, learn how to navigate professional work environments, and develop a bold career mindset. Mentor relationships, and events and experiences around the Twin Cities help women build connections in their community. 

Who should apply?

We are looking for applicants who are:

  • College graduates in the first three years of their career (by Sept 2021)

  • Women or non-binary college student-athletes (who played at least one year of collegiate athletics)

  • Go-getters who want to challenge themselves and accelerate their careers

  • Curious learners eager to gain perspective from diverse experiences

  • Pursuing a career in business related fields (i.e. front office sports, marketing, sales, human resources, IT, accounting, operations, supply chain, etc.)

What is the time commitment?

Before you apply, please confirm you can commit to the Rookie Career Accelerator from September 2021 through May 2022 with the expectation that you participate in: 

  • September 18th, 2021 Kick-Off Retreat

  • January 29th, 2022 Winter Retreat

  • Six monthly learning labs (calendar to be finalized by September)

  • Four mentor meetings (scheduled by mentor and mentee)

Take Charge of Your Career

The goal of the Rookie Career Accelerator is to help you develop the skills, knowledge, connections, access, and confidence to accelerate your career and advance more quickly into leadership roles.  In this program you will:

  • Build self-awareness around your purpose and personal leadership style

  • Gain a community of support

  • Develop critical professional skills like personal branding, relationship building, negotiations, and communications

  • Gain access to mentors, industry leaders, and connection opportunities in the Twin Cities Community

  • Find inspiration to break barriers and be bold in your career aspirations

  • Develop your inclusive leadership skills

  • Build your financial literacy

*This program is funded through donations, grants, and sponsorships and is offered at no cost to participants.


Please complete this short application to apply for the Rookie Career Accelerator.  The application deadline has been extended to July 31st but don't delay.  Spots are filling up fast!

Please click here to complete application

About Her Next Play

The Rookie Career Accelerator is hosted by Her Next Play.  Her Next Play is a Twin Cities based non profit whose mission is to develop the next generation of women leaders through sports. Playing sports builds powerful leadership skills and student-athletes have enormous career potential.  Her Next Play’s Career Accelerator Network programs help women athletes launch and accelerate their careers with the goal of advancing more women into powerful roles more quickly, and closing the gender and racial leadership gap.  Learn more at

Audra is the Executive Board Vice President of Her Next Play. She attributes much of her success to playing sports and is a strong believer in the positive impact sports can have on the lives of girls and women.

She is a passionate speaker, trainer and career coach with over 20 years of experience in recruiting and human resources. She has consulted for top start-ups and Fortune elite companies including Target, Allianz, Ameriprise, and Russell Investments. She has helped thousands of people establish and advance their careers and brought this expertise to CareerPrep, a career coaching company she co-founded. As a first-generation college student, Audra earned a BA in Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Audra Emerson

Adrienne Jordan is an expert leader with over 20 years of experience in strategy, planning and process improvement across a variety of sectors including corporate, sports, education, foundation, non-profit and political arenas.  A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she was a member of the 1997 NCAA Final Four Women’s Basketball Team, Jordan is a Senior Consultant for The Prouty Project where she creatively stretches leaders to achieve bigger goals, bolder strategies, and better collaboration through the unique Prouty Way of strategic planning focused on igniting, elevating and creating the extraordinary. Prior to joining The Prouty Project, Jordan served with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, as the Chief of Staff for the Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, and spent more than 12 years with General Mills, including with their Sales Division and Foundation/Community Action Team.

Driving positive impact in the community is important, and Jordan dedicates her free time to supporting causes that are special to her and her family. Jordan currently serves as a Board Director or Committee Member on governing boards for Her Next Play, Lundstrum Performing Arts, Hennepin Healthcare Foundation and WithAll Foundation. Jordan formerly served on boards or committees for AchieveMpls, Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities, Girls In Action, Guthrie Theater, Phillips Eye Institute and WomenVenture. Jordan is most proud to be the mother of her daughter, Kennedy, and enjoys watching Kennedy perform in musical theatre productions across the Twin Cities, as well as spending time with Kennedy as they serve the community with different organizations throughout the year.

Adrienne Jordan

Sara is a strong believer in the power of sports in developing leaders.  This passion led her to create Her Next Play, a nonprofit that supports leadership and career development for women athletes.

A lifelong advocate for women’s power and advancement, Sara brings an entrepreneurial mindset, a passion for equity, and a talent for developing young leaders to her role as President of Her Next Play.  An early career development expert, Sara co-founded and built CareerPrep, a career coaching and training company, and has held leadership roles in consulting, human resources, and women’s advancement at top companies such as Deloitte, Target, and Merrill Lynch.

A former college soccer player, and current competitive tennis athlete, Sara has a B.A. in Psychology from Lawrence University and an MBA in Human Resources from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Sara Wegmann

Dakotah is a former college volleyball player, she earned her B.S. in Human Health and Performance from the University of Wisconsin- River Falls, and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Organizational Leadership and working as an Athletic Administration Graduate Assistant for North Central College in Illinois

Dakotah’s passion for leadership development within and beyond athletics brought her to Her Next Play in the Fall of 2019. She is an advocate and ally in the support of diversity, equity and inclusion. Dakotah is dedicated to developing and supporting young women to become inclusive and equity minded leaders in their career.

Dakotah Poitra

Rookie Career Accelerator Team

In The News!

"The Career Accelerator Network (CAN) session gave me a lot of insight to what life will look like after college and specifically after sports. It showed me how I can use what I've learned from my athletic career in a workplace setting."

CAN Member