Jamie Farr interns take experience back to classroomWritten by Nicholas Huenefeld | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Interning at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic is a huge learning process, according to Sandy White, director of operations.
“They do it all, really — from start to finish,” she said. “It shows them how a sporting event comes together.”
The tournament only employs five full- or part-time employees, so interns take on a lot of responsibility during the event.
This year, Blake Williams, Brent Papenfuss and Jessica Jackel, along with practicum student Scott Kravitz, are responsible for registering players, running reports, organizing Pro-Ams and working with more than 1,200 volunteers.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that you’re so involved,” Papenfuss said. “Everything you do affects the tournament. You have to be so organized and on point. There’s a lot of people counting on you.”
Each intern runs a Pro-Am — from beginning to end, along with their other overall responsibilities. Jackel was even put in charge of running The Hylant Group Gala Dinner at the SeaGate Convention Centre on June 30.
“I’ve really grown as a businessperson,” Jackel said. “It’s been really, really cool. We interact with hundreds of people, and I basically fly free. I can do things on my own.”
White, who has been with the Jamie Farr since 2001, said this group of students has been the best she has had in terms of working together.
“We’ve had some great interns in the past, but none of the groups have worked together as well as this group,” she said.
All four of the students are from BGSU. They began after school ended in May and will be there until two weeks after the tournament.
“When we hire them, we tell them we’ll have fun, but we work hard,” White said. “We’re not doing brain surgery, but there’s a lot of work to do.”
Kravitz doesn’t have a Pro-Am to run as he is just a practicum student, but he helps with all the Pro-Ams and basically has his hands in everything. He said the key is to always ask questions and always learn.
“You’ve got to be a good people person and be ready to adapt to anything,” Kravitz said. “Also, like you saw Beth Page [during the U.S. Open] with the weather, you have to be able to change things at a moment’s notice.”
Students also take what they learn into the classroom.
“I’m really looking forward to being in class next year and being able to say, ‘Hey, I’ve done this before,’” Jackel said.
Williams has, perhaps, the most responsibility. He has been working with White since January and has joined with volunteer coordinator Heather Warga to learn about the volunteer side of operations.
“He’s really helped us out immensely,” White said.
In fact, Williams has a strong interest in the golf industry and is exploring his options, as he just recently graduated from BGSU and will be looking for a job. His sales calls have improved the most.
“My first few calls were absolutely horrible, but I’ve gotten a lot better at it,” he said.
The interns realize just how valuable they are as the tournament approaches.
“With all the phone calls, Pro-Ams and setups, it would be tough to do with just the staff,” Williams said. “Leading up to it is nuts. It just speeds up and becomes full force.”