Internships Carve Path for Grad Student's First Job In Golf
INTERNSHIPS CARVE PATH FOR GRAD STUDENT’S FIRST JOB IN GOLF
By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.
Sports Administration graduate student Richard Praszkier did not leave anything to chance when it came to his dreams for a career in the golf business. And after five golf-related internships, Praszkier realized his ambition, recently landing an entry-level position as the Coordinator of Junior Golf for Golf House Kentucky.
The master’s degree student from St. Louis finished his undergraduate degree in Sports Administration at UofL in May. During his undergraduate program, Praszkier was determined to get as much industry-related experience as possible. “Internships are essential to personal and professional development. A good internship will give you opportunities to learn but also make mistakes. The other part about internships is that it gives someone an opportunity to work on hard and soft skills. I have learned a wide variety of technical skills through my internships, but the soft skills and communication skills are equally, if not more important.”
Praszkier worked with University Career Center assistant director Mallory Newby before looking for his internships, gaining assistance with his resume and cover letter as well as practice/mock interviewing. His preparation and practice paid off: Praszkier ended up doing undergraduate internships with the Persimmon Ridge Golf Club, Polo Fields Golf and Country Club, Oxmoor Country Club, and Quail Chase Golf Club before then doing a post-graduate fellowship with the Indiana PGA.
Praszkier’s experience with multiple facets of the golf industry made him an obvious choice for the position with Golf House Kentucky. As Coordinator of Junior Golf, he will oversee Kentucky’s Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifiers and PGA Jr. League, assist with tournaments on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour, and will play a key role in facilitating high school tournaments around the state.
Praszkier is ecstatic that he has launched his career doing exactly what he had hoped to be doing. And based on the lessons he learned in preparing for his first job, he thinks other UofL undergraduate students can similarly benefit from internships and the relationships that are built within these experiences. “Always continue building your value while also cultivating relationships. You never know when you will need a reference or guidance from a mentor, former employer, or co-worker.”
Praszkier also says students approaching the job market need to have an open mind. “Be sure to look in as many different markets as possible and ask questions during the interview process. Be sure to understand the job responsibilities but also the work culture. Once you have found the right position and the right fit, you have found something that is very special and rare. Just remember, you have found the right job/career when your position is something you are good at, you have passion for it, and it gives you self/personal value.”