Abbey Thomasabbey

Public Relations and Strategic Communications

PGA Tour Charles Schwab Cup Championship

How has your internship helped build skills and clarify your career goals?

This internship has really shown me what I am capable of doing. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. The sales, operations and event planning projects that I have worked on so far is something that I could see my self doing as a career. It is a very hands on internship that allows me to work directly with contracts, sales calls/meetings and clients. This takes any and all classroom topics that I have learned and puts them to the test. The projects that are given to me are to be done by me and only me then presented to my bosses. They then evaluate my work and tell me if I need to make improvements. The executive team wants to make my work as real life as possible.

How do you apply your Liberal Arts skills in your internship?

Many of the classes that I have taken within the College of Liberal Arts have helped me in this internship. Fortunately my favorite class, COM 212, is the one that I use the most. I speak to our clients who spend thousands of dollars at the PGA TOUR with sponsorships directly. I have used the skills that I have learned in that class to communicate effectively with the business professionals. I know how to use styles of talking, nonverbal cues and styles of listening to better understand the clients. I also used various skills that I learned in COM 318. The persuasion class has helped me make major sales with our PGA TOUR sponsors. I have used techniques and strategies that has lead me to pitch ideas and close expensive sponsorship deals.

What is a typical day like as an intern, any challenging or exciting aspects?

A typical day at the PGA TOUR Charles Schwab Cup Championship office begins with a meeting. I discuss my goals of the day are and get assigned projects. My goals typically are to finish certain aspects of my projects. I have my own desk and telephone and do the majority of my work there. I make phone calls to clients and sponsors from the phone and often times meet them in person to discuss logistics. I run the social media accounts and constantly create content to use for the major platforms. (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) I collaborate with my superiors to gain insight knowledge and to gain advice. It is a learning experience for me to be a business professional and to gain real life, hands on experience. The most challenging part of the internship was making sales calls. We had only ever learned about how to make a sales call but never actually did one while we were in class. When I got to the internship, they let me sit in on the calls to watch how they were suppose to go and then I told to do the rest on my own. It was something that I was very nervous about but had to do to be successful. It did take trail runs and practice but it is now something that I feel very comfortable with. In fact, I actually enjoy making the sales calls. The most exciting thing about my role is how real life it is. My three superiors want me to get as much experience as I can and I really appreciate that aspect. Having the real life interactions with the clients makes it easier to evaluate what parts of the job I enjoy versus what parts I do not like. I have know found what I like and many people do not get to have that type of opportunity and I feel extremely grateful. I was surprised to find the work place to be very interconnected. I have three superiors who do different jobs but they all depend on one another. Superior 1 makes all of the executive decisions and the event planning. Superior 2 does all of the sales and sponsorships that guides Superior 1 to the planning. Superior 3 does all of the financial outlooks that gives Superior 1 and 2 the limit on how much they can spend and sell. Each of them relies on the other to get their job done so that they can get their own done. It was surprising to see how much of the work depends on others doing their job. The most meaningful experience that I have had during this internship was on a sales call. We needed one more sponsor to help donate money to the charity that the PGA TOUR was giving back to this year and many companies were turning me down. I was getting rejection calls day after day and I was getting discouraged. While I was discouraged, I was encouraged to keep trying by superiors. They urged me to pick up the phone and continue to calling people. I proceeded with the phone call and a couple days later got a willing sponsor to help with the donation. I was overjoyed not only because I was able to make a sale to help a very deserving organization but also because I persevered. I knew that it was possible to get the donation but I needed to believe in my self to get the job done.

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