Andrea is a senior in the PGA Golf Management program. With a passion to drive social impact through the game of golf, Andrea set her sights on a career path to PGA REACH and eventually, to develop a nonprofit golf academy for people with special needs.
Why did you choose UCCS?
I was born and raised in Colorado and always loved the beauty of it. I had the blessing of growing up at the Colorado PGA Section home course and knew that I always wanted to make golf my career. It was an easy choice to attend UCCS, I knew the path that I wanted to take in my career and I knew I wanted to remain in Colorado.
Why did you choose to study PGA Golf Management?
The PGA of America has been a large part of my life since I was 6 years old. I grew up playing competitive golf and travelling the state with my golf coach to help teach others about the game of golf as well. Knowing that I would receive my business degree as well as my PGA Membership was all that I needed to know that this was the right career path for me.
What is your favorite part about the PGA Golf Management program? The College of Business?
I would say the relationships that form in the PGA Golf Management program. It feels like one huge family and although that means sometimes there are disagreements, everyone is there for the common purpose of becoming PGA Professionals because of our passion for the game. Honestly, I loved the smaller sizes of both the program and the classes. I never wanted to attend a University where I was considered a number and I never felt that way in the College of Business.
Tell us about your internships.
I have gone through 3 internships (I am on my final internship now). I did my first two internships in Colorado at high end municipal facilities and I am on my final internship at PGA of America Headquarters in Florida working for the PGA REACH team. At both of my first internships, I had the opportunities to help run tournaments, set merchandise displays, teach the game of golf to people of all ages and skill levels, help run junior golf leagues, work in food and beverage operations, help with course maintenance and outside operations. My final internship is a little different because I am not at a green grass golf facility, I am at the heart of the PGA of America, working for our charitable arm of the association. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf. I have had the opportunity to work alongside all 41 of our PGA Sections, the 18 PGA Golf Management Programs, local and national PGA Professionals, and plan large scale events in conjunction with our 100th PGA Championship that was hosted at Bellerive Country Club in Missouri this year.
Are you involved in any clubs or activities on campus?
I was heavily involved in the PGA Golf Management program serving as both the Community Service Chairperson my sophomore year and the Vice President chair my senior year. Even when I wasn’t serving on our board I was still heavily involved in any way possible.
What are your career aspirations?
Well I have a few, a beginning of career aspiration, midaspiration, end aspiration, and retirement aspiration. My beginning of career aspiration is to remain with PGA REACH and help drive social impact through the game of golf to youth, military, and diverse populations. The game of golf has opened so many amazing doors for me, I couldn’t imagine not giving that back to others. My midaspiration would be to move up on the PGA REACH team and become more of a team leader as well as industry mover in more of a director roll. My end aspiration would be to one day become the Chief Membership Officer of the PGA of America. The PGA of America’s mission is to “Serve the Member and Grow the Game” and as the CMO I believe that the position truly encompasses both of those roles in its everyday operations. My retirement aspiration is to open a nonprofit golf academy for people with special needs, both physical and mental. At this point, this is a very new industry topic and one that I believe deserves more attention. I don’t believe anyone should have to miss out on a life of golf because of something that someone else says will hold them back, when in reality there is just a different routine.
How is UCCS helping to make those goals a reality?
I believe UCCS is a very innovative school and a school that truly cares about the career futures of the students. I had classes where afterwards I would talk to the professor how things would differ in management or business studies for a nonprofit instead of a for profit and not once did that professor tell me that they didn’t have time to help me gain knowledge that wasn’t written into the syllabus. The PGA Golf Management Program alone has opened many opportunities for me that I never thought I would experience as a student, such as attending the PGA of America’s University Program Leadership Session or volunteering with the First Tee of Pikes Peak.
What do you love about Colorado Springs?
What isn’t there to love? My entire family lives in Colorado Springs, so to have such a large support system while attending UCCS was very important to me. The beauty of four seasons and all of the outside activities is also something that still amazes me even though I lived here for 22 years. When the program had level seminars and we would have PGA Professionals from other states come to campus, they were always awestruck by the view from the College of Business conference room. Our view of Colorado Springs is unlike any other.
What would you tell someone who is considering UCCS for college? What would you tell them about the PGA Golf Management program?
If someone was considering UCCS for college, I would first and foremost let them know that they will never feel like a number, even in general education courses. They will never get tired of the view, especially if they apply for the College of Business. If someone was considering the PGA Golf Management program, I would first let them know that we never take Friday classes because we play in program tournaments!(: But more importantly, there are so many opportunities for us as PGA Golf Management students to take part in and they will help you grow and learn. The PGA Golf Management program offers an insight into the golf industry that no other program can offer you. To come out of college with a business degree as well as the right to apply for PGA Membership is a huge step up in the industry. The students in the program are great and the leadership you have with Mark and Jamie are unparalleled.