When I was 9 years old my dad took me to my first golf tournament, the Toshiba Classic, now known as the Hoag Classic. Little did I know that 10 years later I would be interning for the same event. This past fall semester my good friend Kassandra Sopko, SCC ’22, reached out to me about the opportunity to work with the Hoag Classic. Kassandra knew that I was interested in a career in the sports industry and that the internship would go well with my major. The idea of marketing in a sports atmosphere with flexible hours seemed like a great way to start getting exposed to career ideas.

Since 1995, Southern California has had the privilege of hosting PGA Tour champions each spring. Previous winners from PGA Tours all come together to raise funds for Hoag hospital in Newport Beach. The tournament lasts about a week long with different events held each day leading up to the rounds of the tournament. Sponsors, volunteers, and spectators all gather during the weekend to see the champions battle it out for the prize. Last year, millions were raised for Hoag Hospital with the help of big corporations and local sponsors.

My position as an intern for Hoag Charity Sports involved promoting the tournament at local public golf courses. Kassandra and I are part of the Hoag Classic Ambassador Street Team. so our job is to inform the public with basic knowledge about the upcoming tournament and get community members excited. We would set up a booth including a Hoag Classic tent hub to catch the eyes of golfers. Many golfers came up to us with questions and we are always happy to inform them that we are not selling anything at the booth, just promoting the Hoag Classic. We did this by giving away free promotional items and free tickets for the event. Most people really start to listen when they hear the keyword “free,” and feel comfortable asking more about the details and engaging with us about the tournament. We are able to connect them with various relevant prizes and information. Another marketing angle we took was to snap pictures of the Hoag brand being represented at the courses and golfers interacting with our booth. We were able to get some pictures of golfers playing the tent game to win free tickets which we sent along to our boss to post on social media. I appreciated the exposure to some media marketing during this internship.

This internship was not only an amazing way to network and prepare for a corporate job, but it also really brought me out of my shell and made me comfortable approaching new people. I learned how to be inviting while maintaining professionalism in any unique work environment. I really appreciated the work skills our employer Kalyn was able to offer and I was glad to receive such positive feedback from her. Overall, this internship was a great way for me to get my foot in the door with a reputable brand, build my resume, and have fun while doing it.