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University of Mary students bound for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis prepared to leave Bismarck on Tuesday afternoon. From left are Reed Feland, August Taylor, Shawnee Unruh and Alex Hair with Myron Schulz in back left. Unruh said all four students are sport and leisure management majors at U-Mary.

Six University of Mary students and one faculty member will work behind-the-scenes of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis this weekend.

The students will work the Super Bowl Experience event at the Minneapolis Convention Center Wednesday through Friday then will be trained for their yet-to-be-determined job duties on Sunday.

Early Tuesday afternoon, the students and their adviser, Myron Schulz, packed into a rental car to make the drive to Minneapolis. 

This opportunity is new to the University of Mary Tharaldson School of Business students and their adviser, who have never been to a Super Bowl before.

"Not many students get this opportunity, so (we) took advantage of it while it’s up here in the north," said Shawnee Unruh, a senior at the University of Mary.

The opportunity is the culmination of two years' worth of work for the students, who called staffing companies and made connections in the sports industry.

"Once we found out that Minnesota got the bid and was going to be hosting the Super Bowl ... our adviser kind of got us to jump on it and get in touch with people, so we were making numerous phone calls," Unruh said.

Last week, the students attended a training session in Minneapolis. The students, who are in the university's sports and leisure management program, have found work wherever they can at sporting events in Bismarck and look at this opportunity as a way to expand their knowledge.

"In North Dakota, there’s not a plethora of learning opportunities to be had as far as major sporting events," said August Taylor, a junior at the school. "To get out and especially to do something like the Super Bowl is huge."

Unruh said she hopes to land a job doing public relations for a sports team, while Taylor said he's pursuing his master's degree in human relations next year, with the goal of working someday for a sports team, as well.

In addition to adding the Super Bowl to their resumes, the students are hoping to take back what they learned to the university.

"I think it’s going to be great for the University of Mary (Tharaldson) School of Business, especially their sport management program, just because there’s multiple events in the near future, too, that Minneapolis is hosting," Unruh said.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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Education and Health Reporter