UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Major: Marketing Communications
Internship: Golf Channel Academy
Golf comes naturally to Gina D’Agostino, so does the love of learning.
As a freshman in high school, Gina was encouraged by her parents to try out for the Appleton North High School girls golf team.
“I really wasn’t interested in golf at the time,” she remembers. “Looking back, I’m glad I had a change of heart. I made all my best friends playing golf and really enjoyed the time I spent golfing with my dad.”
During her freshman year at UW-River Falls, Gina considered trying out for the golf team but followed her hopes for a sports marketing internship instead, ultimately securing a social media internship with the Athletics Department.
The fact she wasn’t on the course didn’t mean golf wasn’t on her mind. This year she applied for an internship with PGA Tours. The opportunity seemed like a great chance to be close to a sport she enjoyed while also providing her valuable experience. Off went her application and resume.
“I’ll never forget the day I received my rejection letter. I was definitely disappointed, but not discouraged,” Gina said. “I knew there was more than one place to learn about sports marketing, so I Googled golf internships and discovered opportunities at the Golf Channel!”
Gina, a peer adviser in the Career Services office and Orientation Team Leader with New Student and Family Programs, fine-tuned her resume before applying, something she strongly recommends all students do when applying for internships or jobs.
“Your resume should not be one-size-fits-all. Take time to customize your resume for each job or internship you are applying for, employers will take note. And don’t discount the value of part-time jobs or jobs outside of your major,” she adds. “You are learning essential skills such as interpersonal communication, management and organization, no matter the job you have in college.”
Gina took her application to the next level by spending a bit more time on her cover letter. She added a personal touch, sharing her “back story” - how she was introduced to golf, how it impacted her relationship with her family and how she’s “paying forward” her gifts by serving in roles where she can teach young golfers. It was a touch that helped differentiate her from others and resulted in a call from an HR hiring manager who offered her the internship without an interview.
Gina learned a great deal during her time in Orlando, making friends, networking and taking full advantage of the assignments she was presented.
“I learned that behind the scenes market research might be a better fit for me than public-facing, in the moment social media projects,” she said.
Gina is looking forward to learning more about herself during her next internship - yes, she was recently accepted into the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World where she will spend spring semester 2020. That makes four internships for Gina since starting her academic journey at UWRF.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed the internship experiences I’ve had. It’s very motivating for me to hear from professionals and even other students I’ve connected with,” she said. “I’m energized by the intersection between what I’m learning in class and how it relates to what I may be doing one day in my chosen profession. These opportunities are invaluable – truly a foundation for our future success. I encourage all students to seek internships if they are able — you won’t be sorry.”
Gina plans to graduate in spring 2021.