Lake Forest College alumna Kyra Vidas ’18, a four-year letter winner on the Forester women’s handball team, took her love for sports to the professional level after recently accepting a full-time position at the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Atlanta Dream as the Director of Operations.
Vidas began working with the Atlanta Dream the first week in April. In this position, Vidas assists in the coordination of travel arrangements for the team and coaches, budget management, player appearances, athletic equipment inventory and distribution, facility set-up, sponsorships, and has oversight over 10 interns.
Vidas describes her position as the “middleman,” being the go-to person for the team, players, and other outside parties. She is one of the youngest Directors of Operations in the WNBA.
Getting to where she is now; however, was not easy. Upon graduation, she watched several of her classmates accept job offers, but she knew that if she wanted to pursue a position in the professional sports league, it would require patience. With seasons running from April to October, often times jobs in the WNBA do not begin until the start of the season.
Prior to working with the Atlanta Dream, Vidas gained invaluable experience from her role with the Chicago Sky. As the Basketball Operations Assistant, she worked closely with the Basketball Operations Director, Ann Crosby, and was able to learn what was expected from the position.
Vidas credits both the mentorship she received from Crosby and assistance from Lake Forest College’s Forester Game Plan as helpful resources that enabled her to experience success in the athletic field at a young age.
The Forester Game Plan is a unique partnership between the Athletic Department, the Career Advancement Center, and an expansive network of faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the College that seeks to prepare student-athletes for success in the workforce or graduate school, and ultimately, in life.
“The College cares a lot and wants to see every student succeed,” Vidas stated. She found that going to panels offered by the Career Advancement Center and the programs through the Forester Game Plan were incredibly helpful in making connections, gaining confidence, and learning more about different professions.
Although not every program was tailored to the athletic industry, Vidas states that, “every networking opportunity is important and it’s important to make as many connections as possible because you never know who they know.”
Vidas also attributes her success to the experience she received from the NCAA Female Ethnic & Minority Mentoring Program, a program that seeks to increase career opportunities among females and ethnic minorities and build a pipeline for the next generation of professionals in DIII collegiate coaching and administration.
This experience gave Vidas the chance to work closely with Lake Forest College Director of Athletics and Senior Advisor to the President Jackie Slaats, while she also had the opportunity to connect with coaches and staff at the 2018 NCAA Inclusion Forum.
Although Vidas has only been with the Atlanta Dream for a short time, she enjoys the team’s high energy and hardworking atmosphere. The Atlanta Dream is off to a great start after winning its home opener against the Dallas Wings. The team will take on three-time WNBA Champion Seattle Storm on Friday, May 31 at 7:30 PM.