To say interns are important to the AJGA would probably be an understatement. With over 70 interns hired every year to assist in the running of junior golf tournaments across the country, interns are an invaluable part of the American Junior Golf Association. Not only do these interns play a vital role in the daily running of tournaments, but the AJGA fills many of its full-time staff openings from these internships. Currently, of the AJGA’s 61 full-time staff members, 51 have completed an internship with the organization.
In just over a week, candidates for the AJGA’s Operations and Communications summer internships will descend on Braselton, Georgia for a weekend at the AJGA’s National Headquarters. This “Internship Recruiting Weekend,” or “IRW” as we call it, is unlike any other interview process. Candidates' weekend will include interviews, team building activities, and hearing from industry leaders. Not only will this weekend allow the AJGA to learn more about the candidates, but it allows the candidates to get to know the AJGA staff and learn more about the organization.
Over the last week, I've been exploring the depths of the AJGA’s digital photo files, and found a few photos of current full-time AJGA staff when they were just starting their journey with the AJGA at IRW. While some of the staff members were a little wary of what photo I found of them to include, they all agreed to answer a few questions about their experience at IRW. Staff members, from several AJGA departments, shared with me either their favorite part of IRW or some advice they would give to the candidates that are traveling to Braselton for IRW 2013.
Without further adieu, enjoy this blast from the past, and the great advice and memories that are coming along with it...
Julie Greenfield (pictured in the yellow corn-on-the-cob hat), Senior Tournament Director
Favorite part? The feeling I got once I left IRW was my favorite – there was no other company that I wanted to work for more. It ignited my passion for the AJGA that is still burning after 2 internships and 7 full-time years.
Stephanie Dittmer (in the blazer on the ride side of the photo), Media Relations Coordinator (@AJGADittmer)
Advice? Bring your personality, have fun, enjoy the experience and meet as many people (staff and potential interns) as possible! This is going to be one of the craziest weekends/interview processes of your life so try to take as much in as possible but just be yourself because that’s what matters the most.
Katie Wilson (working on an assessment during the weekend), Partnership Manager (@AJGAWilson)
Advice? I would advise candidates heading to Atlanta to first be proud that they have made it so far in the selection process. Once on-site just soak it in, be personable and enjoy the experience for what it is – a once in a lifetime opportunity! Oh and dress wisely – that button down shirt or nice sweater makes a great impression but also helps keep you warm – its cold in Atlanta!
Lauren Shelly (this photo is actually from IRW 2011 [when Lauren was already a full-time staff member], she's pictured with Bill Hughes, GM at TPC Sawgrass), Manager of Recruiting and Special Events
Favorite part? My favorite part of IRW was getting to interact with all the candidates and learning about them and their backgrounds!
Scott Geary (third from the right), Tournament Manager
Favorite part? My favorite parts of IRW were the icebreaker and team-building activities. Each one is a blast and you get a lot of opportunities to meet the staff and other candidates, as well as showcase your abilities to work with a group of people. The entire weekend is an interview process unlike any other!
Andrew LeSaicherre (attempting to stack golf balls), Tournament Coordinator
Advice? The best thing that you can do is just be yourself. Try to meet as many people as you can, ask any and every question that you can, and most importantly, have fun.
Abby Liebenthal (far left, in the black cardigan), Media Relations Coordinator (@AJGALiebs)
Favorite part? My favorite part of IRW as an intern candidate was meeting successful people. Everyone was just as determined and dedicated to their field! I was a little younger than other candidates, so I had a great time hearing about their experiences. The AJGA staff was also very encouraging and it made it easy for me to want to be a part of this organization.
Kelli Holloway (Front row, second from right. Pictured with her summer intern team.), Manager of Customer Relations
Advice? My advice would make every interaction count and really take time to connect with each person you meet. The AJGA has a lot of great full time staff members and some of the other candidates you meet at IRW could end up being part of your intern team as well as friends for the rest of your life.
Morgan Seeley (far right), Partnership Coordinator
Favorite part? My favorite part of coming to IRW as an intern was getting to meet so many qualified and talented candidates. It was great to be around a group of people that share your same passion and drive.
One of my favorite parts of getting to read the favorite parts and advice about IRW from these now full-time staff at the AJGA is that so much of what they've shared line up with my own advice and favorite memories. Believe it or not, I even vaguely remember meeting Andrew and Scott back in 2011 at IRW (even if they don’t remember meeting me).
If you’re a candidate that’s headed this way next weekend (or are just interested in the IRW process), be sure to join the conversation on Twitter. @AJGACareers is leading the charge and a lot of our full-time staff has joined in the conversation as well. Use #AJGAIRW and get to know us and the fellow candidates before you arrive at AJGA HQ. We can’t wait to meet you!
Until next time --