By Christine Beauchaine, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Roman philosopher Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
This saying certainly applies to Westborough native, Jacqueline Avola, who has certainly seen her hard work pay off in a big way.
Avola has always loved sports, participating in both field hockey and figure skating when she was younger.
In 2011, when she was a freshman at Westborough High School, her history teacher was a big hockey fan. That year hockey fans throughout the region celebrated as the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, the first time in 39 years.
Avola noted that her teacher did not assign any homework during the playoff run but rather said “Go home and watch the game.”
As Avola did, she found that she loved the game and the Bruins in particular. While watching, she begin to tweet about the games. She gained a large following on Twitter, although that annoyed her friends, she laughed.
Despite that, in addition to discovering a love for hockey and the Bruins, she found she had a real talent for social media.
After graduation, she decided to attend Assumption College in Worcester.
While there, she volunteered for a campus organization called Assumption Against Cancer which helped to organize a Relay for Life fundraising event on campus. (Relay for Life is an volunteer-led event held across the world as a way to raise funds for cancer research.) Initially, she was on the entertainment committee but decided it wasn’t a good fit for her so she switched to social media and publicity where she excelled.
A professor and mentor at Assumption took note of her success with social media and encouraged her to apply to an internship with the hockey team the Worcester Railers, an ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders.
Avola was offered the internship, working with the team throughout 2017 and 2018.
In the spring of 2018, she graduated from Assumption with an organizational communication major and minors in sports management and French. Her honors thesis addressed the impact of social media and how it has changed sports by increasing accessibility, intimacy and immediacy.
After graduation, the Railers offered her a job, where she now works in Corporate Fulfillment, dealing with corporate partnerships and contracts. As such, she is learning new things at the job, all of the time.
For other young people seeking advice on obtaining a job they love, she offers, “Find a mentor. Be a sponge. Take in everything. Don’t settle for something you don’t want to do.”