Contessa Boorman, ’20 BSB, had never attended an NFL game before February 4. That’s when her participation in U.S. Bank’s inaugural Future Leaders program brought her to one of the planet’s largest sporting spectacles: the Super Bowl.

Boorman was one of three Minnesota college students selected for the Future Leaders program, based on her contributions to her community. The Carlson School of Management nominated her to apply based on her work in co-founding the President’s Emerging Scholars Student Board, a student group dedicated to building personal and professional opportunities for students who have overcome personal and or systemic barriers.

Here, she shares the story of her once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl week:

Oh my goodness … where do I start?! What was so beneficial about the Future Leaders Program is that the majority of the events were catered to my interests, thus I had experiences that specifically pertained to my career goals of working within marketing and media.

Among the highlights:

Filming the Super Bowl pre-game NBC commercial with Ahmad Rashad in the U.S. Bank Possibilities Lounge Downtown
This was such an incredible experience, because I got to learn what really goes into creating a commercial. For instance, we spent about a half hour pinning my shirt with tape, steaming it, and pulling it so it looked just right on camera. It was cool to see how all of the very small details come together to create an incredible end product. Not to mention, filming with Ahmad and the other Future Leaders was so fun.

Doing a Facebook Live takeover with NBC Sports
On the second day, we got to do a Facebook Live with Ahmad in the U.S. Bank Possibilities Lounge to show off our “money moves,” in which the more we danced, the more money we raised for charities—one of them being the Carlson student group Women in Business.

Attending the halftime show rehearsal
I got the opportunity to go to U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday and watch Justin Timberlake’s halftime show rehearsal from a suite. It was fascinating to not only see the show beforehand (because it was incredible), but to also see how all of the moving pieces came together on the field. For example, I would be watching Justin singing, quickly glance away to look at the band, and when I turned back there were 300 people on the field dancing and a crew pushing off pieces of the stage in the dark. There were so many moving pieces, and I really enjoyed watching how everything came together at the end.

Contessa Boorman Super Bowl

NFL Women’s Summit
I had the opportunity to attend the NFL Women’s Summit and hear from many inspirational women and men talk about their journeys and offer professional insights. Some of the speakers included NBC Sports sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, NBC Sports Group Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Storms, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Attending the Super Bowl Breakfast
This was such a cool experience, because I got to attend the breakfast, in which Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson was presented the Bart Starr Award for his involvement with the community, with the Board of Directors for U.S. Bank. It was inspiring to hear about all of the hard work that people are doing to give back to our communities and make them better places.

Attend the NBC after-party featuring Gwen Stefani
This was insane! I got to attend the NBC party, in which Gwen Stefani performed, with a special surprise guest of Blake Shelton. I also got to speak with some of the most talented people working in both television and media. Not to mention, I ran into a few celebrities, including the cast of This Is Us and James Poyser from The Roots!

The whole experience more than exceeded my expectations. Not only was it so fun being able to have so many once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as attending the Super Bowl, but my absolute favorite part was meeting some of the most dedicated, community-oriented, and heartfelt professionals from U.S. Bank and GMR Marketing.