Summer Experiences: U.S. Golf Association Internship

Megan WoodliefBy: Megan Woodlief, junior hospitality management major

This summer, I had an internship with the United States Golf Association working at the U.S. Open Golf Tournament held in Pinehurst, N.C. As a rising junior hospitality management major with a concentration in conventions and special events, this internship right up my alley. I hope to eventually work in either collegiate or professional sports.

For two and a half weeks, I worked from 5 a.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. as one of 12 “will-call” interns hired for the tournament. Our basic job was to run the will-call offices located at the main gates. This included far more than I ever expected. From running the ticket databases to answering every phone call that came through every day, multitasking became my no. 1 skill. The days seemed to fly by, as we never stopped moving or answering questions the whole day.

Making history, this was the first year that the Men’s and Women’s U.S. Open Tournaments were held at the same golf course spanning two weeks of continuous golf.  This required the interns to be there longer than normal, making for a very long month of waking up early.  Not only this, but there were record-breaking crowds at both tournaments. One of my favorite parts of the tournament was when I got to meet Adam Scott. As an intern, we had the opportunity to meet many of the famous golfers as well as many of the up-and-coming players.

US OPENStaying in a new place and living with new people for a short timespan was sort of like going to college again. Yet, in those few weeks that we all stayed there, we made friends for life. Most of us still keep in touch and wish to pursue another internship with the U.S. Golf Association for additional golf tournaments. The experience gained from this type of nonstop internship couldn’t be traded for anything in the world.  I got to see all the effort and hours put into making a large event run seamlessly, only solidifying the many reasons I love my major.

One of the greatest pieces of advice came from an Honors College professor when helping me look at different internships. “Find your passion and run with it,” said Dr. Todd Fraley. “Never let it go and never let anyone tell you that it won’t work.” He was the reason I changed my major and pursued this internship.

The Honors College not only provides us with one of the best learning environments on campus, but they prepare us to succeed even when we venture out into the world.  Everyone should get the opportunity to have a fantastic internship during college. It is the best way to see if you enjoy your field of study, and pursue your passions.

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