West Virginia University
27 Aug

Student spends summer with PGA TOUR

Kimberly | August 27, 2013
Television journalism major Jessica Rangel wanted an impressive internship to fill the summer before her senior year at WVU. The 20-year-old from Greeley, Colo., competed with more than 1,000 applicants for one of 20 positions with the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) TOUR.

Interview by Angela Lindley

Lindley: Explain what you did and where you were placed for your internship.

Jessica Rangel: I was selected to work in the digital department. I wrote, produced and edited content for the website, PGATOUR.com. In all, I wrote about 25 articles for the website (pgatour.com). I was based at the headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., so I moved here for 10 weeks. The PGA TOUR takes good care of its interns. We were provided with furnished apartments, which we shared with other interns.

L: How did you find out about this internship, and what factors helped you attain it?

JR: A 1988 WVU alumnus, Andy Pazder, is the vice president of the PGA TOUR. I had spoken to him about my interest in a career in sports, and he told me about this internship program. When it came time to apply, my minor in sport communication really made me stand out. It showed that I truly had an interest in sports media. Although I have done small internships during the school year, such as writing for blogs, this was my “big break.” It really helped me get my foot in the door in the world of sports communications.

L: Were you interested in golf before you began the job?

JR: As an avid sports fan, I had some knowledge of golf but not much. After writing about golf on a daily basis, it became the topic of my Twitter feed and dinner conversations. I truly do enjoy the game. One perk of the job was free golf at the TPC (Tournament Players Club) Sawgrass. I’m still learning, but it was exciting playing at a course where the best golfers play. Tiger Woods even has a locker here!

L: Describe your average work day at the PGA.

JR: I would get an assignment and have to research, write the story, and put it on the website by my deadline. Having my work on the website for one of the largest sports companies is as real as it gets!

L: What did you enjoy most this summer?

JR: I enjoyed surfing and being a beach bum in Jacksonville, but my favorite thing was getting my first byline on an article. It was pretty cool seeing my name on the website.

L: What advice would you give to other students looking for high-profile internships?

JR: Research. Look up plenty of internships. Research the company and research who works there. I knew I wanted to work for a sports company, and I thought it might be difficult to land a job with one. Yet knowing the company and being able to reach out to a WVU alumnus who works there helped make it possible.

Read Jessica’s work online!

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