This week in the Fortinet Intern Spotlight Series, we introduce Andrew Wenk. Wenk was a summer operations intern in 2021 and came back as a Tournament Assistant in the summer of 2022.
Can you tell me a little about your background?
I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio, and growing up my dad was a huge [Cincinnati] Bearcat fan and it kind of rubbed off on the whole family. I would say it was around high school when I knew I was going to work in sports. Being a Bearcat fan, we were pretty good at college basketball kickstarting my love for college sports and then sports as a whole. I got my start in sports selling tickets as a freshman at the University of Miami (OH). After a year, I found a better fit on the operations side working the Western Southern Tennis Open and that was something I really enjoyed a lot more.
Why did you want to work for the AJGA?
I always wanted to work in golf throughout high school and never really had the opportunity to. A lot of my friends would work at different country clubs and public courses, but I never had the ability to do it. So, when I was working in Miami’s operation and equipment department, I saw this opportunity come up and I thought it was a great idea to finally be able to fulfill that dream and get into golf. Not to mention, the ability to travel and see different parts of the United States was really appealing to me.
What was your internship experience like?
I remember the first week being down at the Team TaylorMade Invitational and I think right out of the gate, it far exceeded my expectations and it never slowed down from there. It was a whirlwind, but you get to see a good sunrise as you’re working long hours. But I had a really strong team, and we had a great bond together, so it made the whole summer worth it. My attention to detail and conflict resolution skills improved so much because of my time with the AJGA and if I had to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.
You came back to be a Tournament Assistant; how did that differ from the internship?
When I was offered that position, it really was a no-brainer for me, and it was a great opportunity to have another year of development with the AJGA. I think the biggest challenge was the first year you’re all friends and you get along at a higher level because you’re a team and traveling together.
What’s been your biggest takeaway from the internship?
I think it helped me with my confidence and the level of professionalism I acquired from my experience with the AJGA. Coming into the AJGA, I wasn’t so sure of myself so after I knew I could do something in sports it really helped build upon my confidence to think there’s nothing I can’t do. The second year it’s tough because you’re sitting down with different interns on different teams throughout the whole summer in an elevated role with a greater level of responsibility, but still an intern yourself. You have to lead a team and provide constructive feedback and sometimes that can rub people the wrong way, but you need to be honest and fair, which was a skill I needed to improve upon. The role has tournament administrative tasks, but you learn a lot more, especially about how to run a tournament and the responsibilities that come with it which helped me grow to where I am now.
What would you tell someone who’s thinking about applying for the internship?
I would say you’re going to make friends. I say that it’s my second family down in Atlanta and I still see my team that I interned with once or twice a year. So, you’re going to make friends and relationships that you’re never going to forget and the memories and opportunities that come from the internship are unbelievable. So, I would just say apply because it’s an amazing summer and something you would not regret.
What’s the next step in your career?
I’ve been with DePaul Athletics for about a year as a graduate assistant (GA). It’s a two-year program so I’ll graduate next summer. I work as a GA for the executive staff which includes our Vice President, Director of Athletics, and the executives within the department. I would say 80 to 90 percent of what I do is really with the sports administrator for men’s basketball and golf. I really love where I am now, but I also love event operations, so I’ve got a year to think about what I want to do.
If you're driven to be part of this dynamic community, applications for the 2024 AJGA Internships are open. For more insights into the #AJGAInternship, explore the AJGA Careers
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