By: Christopher Bared
After playing four seasons as a midfielder on the University of Miami’s soccer team, Lauren Markwith had a difficult time letting go of the sport she loves. Now, after graduating in the summer of 2020, she found her niche in a new position—off the field, but still not too far away from the pitch.
As a digital producer for Inter Miami CF, the newly formed Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Markwith combines all of her skill sets into one position.
“I love soccer and I love telling stories,” she said, “so [this job] was the perfect combination, and I love it because I’m still involved in the game.”
Not only is she still involved in the game, but she is also watching and documenting the birth of an MLS team in its first season. In her job, Markwith produces content for the club’s social media channels and she’s the production assistant for a documentary series about Inter Miami’s inaugural season.
“When I started here it was almost like a start-up company, and I had a lot of responsibilities because I was one of the few people in the [communication] department,” she said.
At the University of Miami, Markwith split her time between the soccer field and the classrooms of the School of Communication, where she studied broadcast journalism. She was also an intern at Inter Miami during her senior soccer season, before the team even had a stadium of its own. Being a student-athlete with many commitments, she said, was essential to her success after college.
“I definitely had to learn how to manage my time well,” she said, “and now I just bring that into work when I have different projects at the same time.”
Markwith came to the University of Miami by way of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. Even in high school, she excelled as a student and an athlete.
In 2013, Markwith represented her mother’s country, Guatemala, in the under-17 World Cup qualifiers in the Cayman Islands. Then in 2014, she returned for the under-20 World Cup qualifiers in Jamaica. She played in both tournaments while still in high school.
“I missed a lot of high school dances, a lot of high school experiences, but I wouldn’t trade the experience of playing in a World Cup qualifier,” she said.
When she faced the United States, she knew many of the players and coaches on the opposing side from her youth soccer career.
“Even though we lost that game, we put up a really good fight,” she said. “I wanted to show the other team that we were just as good.”
In preparation for international tournaments, Markwith travelled between California and Guatemala. She nearly perfected her Spanish, thanks to her teammates and her Guatemalan family members. In her new job as part of a diverse soccer club with players and coaches from all over the world, knowing a second language has proven useful.
Inter Miami CF’s roster features a myriad of international stars, including head coach Diego Alonso from Argentina, midfielder Blaise Matuidi from France, and forward Rodolfo Pizarro from Mexico—all sensational names in the soccer world. Markwith watches the international stars train every day, and she reports that she has been learning a lot from them.
While she is filming games and practices from the sidelines, she has not stopped being a student of the game.
“I feel a bit strange on this side of the pitch,” she said, “but watching makes me want to play all the time.”
Markwith’s transition to the sidelines may not be permanent. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she had plans to play with the University of East London’s team and try to join local club teams in England. When the pandemic delayed those plans, she took advantage of the downtime.
Not only is she working her “dream job” at Inter Miami, but she’s also back at the University of Miami working on her master’s degree in sports business, with the financial support of her current employer. Even though she may not be on the field, Markwith still wants to be a well-rounded player.
“I really want to get a feel for every position, so I can know what I am most passionate about,” she said.
Whether she continues working on the communications side, moves to the business side, or returns to the field, Markwith does not plan on letting go of the athlete mentality.
“If it’s soccer, basketball, or tennis, I know I want to work in sports,” she said.