Jensyn Lown never imagined a future in business when she started her college career in 2017. Now she’s pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, thriving in her dream job with the Portland Timbers, and eyeing a future as a corporate executive. 

“I have always felt a calling toward leadership,” says Lown, a 23-year-old student in George Fox’s MBA program. “I first noticed this passion of mine while I was growing up and playing sports. I always wanted to be an example to others and help lead my team to victory. I was enthused to find out I could make this passion a career through business.”

Lown grew up in the midst of leaders. Her most influential mentors were her grandparents, Bud and Kay Kinzler, who always inspired her to work her hardest. Bud taught her how to identify her strengths at a young age, and they would revisit her list of strengths together as the years progressed, examining the way her skills grew as she grew. 

Jensyn at her desk

“They have been the example for everything in my life,” Lown says.

Other mentors in her life include Elise Trask, associate director of athletics at George Fox, and Laurie Koehler, a marketing professor in the university’s MBA program. Trask was a role model as Lown honed her skills in the javelin, and Koehler was an inspiration in the business realm. Both women modeled for Lown how to be a confident and successful woman in athletics and business. 

Although Lown developed a love for sports at a young age, her journey into the world of business didn’t start until her freshman year at Biola. That’s when she realized a career in cinematography wasn’t the right fit for her.

“I wanted something that would give me the opportunity to be a leader among people,” she says.

Her friend suggested that Lown take an introduction to management class. Lown took her advice and came to love the class, and soon after she transferred to George Fox as a business student to pursue internships and opportunities closer to her home in the Portland area. 

Back then, she had no idea she would find herself in the job of her dreams straight out of college. Lown directs the Portland Timbers’ youth camp program in Portland, Oregon. She had to give up soccer before coming to college due to a sports injury in high school; now she works for her favorite team as she inspires future generations of soccer players.

It’s surprising how Lown came across this job in the first place.

“It was the last semester of my senior year, and I was getting ready to graduate,” Lown says. “I decided to go to grad school and do track because I had nothing lined up. Then I got an email from the Timbers because I had interned with them after my sophomore year of college.”

The email mentioned a new job opening that Lown wasn’t aware of, and they quickly set up an interview. The Timbers offered her the job, and she started working for the organization the summer after graduating from George Fox with a bachelor’s degree in business. 

Jensyn walking through a hall with Portland Timbers and Thorns logos on it

In the fall of 2021, Lown enrolled in George Fox’s MBA program. Thanks to the flexibility of the program, she’s able to work full time while pursuing her master’s degree. She doesn’t believe any of this was a coincidence.

“It felt like something the Lord plopped into my lap. He pieced my life together and gave me this amazing opportunity. I will forever give him all the thanks and glory for that,” she says.

Although Lown had already secured her dream job before enrolling in the MBA program, she knew she still had a lot to learn about business. “Enrolling in this MBA program while working full time has been a great asset to me. I am able to take projects assigned from class and apply them to my real-world job,” she says.

In her data research and analytics class, Lown learned how to calculate moving averages. Now she’s applying that concept to predict how many kids will enroll in the Timbers’ youth camp. Once she figures out roughly how many will enroll, she can determine her budgeting and staffing needs. It’s just one practical example of how the MBA program is enhancing Lown’s professional life.

Lown loves her job and her experience in the MBA program, but it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Being a woman in the business world is tough, especially as a young woman. Working in a field that’s predominantly run by older men can be intimidating, and there are days when Lown feels inadequate. Whenever she feels like this, she reminds herself to lean on God. He wouldn’t have put her in this position if she wasn’t qualified, and she finds comfort in his wisdom. 

“My goal is to work my way up to that table and be one of those senior executive members,” she says. “I want to bring another female into that position.”

At the same time, Lown realizes that God is above it all.

“At the end of any career – whether CEO, founder or key shareholder – Christ sits on the highest throne in heaven, and any success granted to us on this earth ought to be for his glory,” Lown says. “I want to grow my knowledge in business with this truth in focus. 

Ultimately, Lown trusts that God has it all figured out and his plan is good. In the meantime, she’s determined to expand her knowledge of business through George Fox’s MBA program.

Lown loves the MBA program, and she especially enjoys working with her cohort. Being part of a cohort means Lown has the opportunity to learn from her professors and peers.

“Instead of having to go through trial and error by myself, I have these people in my cohort that I can look up to who have already tried it. I get to learn from them,” she says.

Jensyn at Providence Park

Lown is only six months into the 14-month program, but she has already learned so much. Not only has she gained new technical knowledge, she’s also learned to trust people. As an undergraduate, Lown struggled to trust others when it came to academics and group projects, but everyone in the MBA program is there to be formed into knowledgeable and well-rounded business people. Now she loves teaming up with others, and she knows her fellow classmates will do their part in group work.

Lown’s experience in athletics has given her a significant edge in the classroom and at work, and it shows. In just a few short years, she has found her vocational calling and couldn’t be happier. 

“I’m able to take the skills I’ve developed through sports and apply them to my everyday life at work,” Lown says. “I work hard and with integrity, I push myself to meet certain goals, and I strive to be the best in our industry.”

Lown says pursuing a career in business is a great way for athletes to continue striving for excellence.

“If you value competition, leadership, drive and work ethic, then business would definitely be a viable route for you – even if your undergraduate major wasn't business,” she says.

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