Three Countries, Three Opportunities: The Active and Diverse Summer Internships of Women's Golf

Three Countries, Three Opportunities: The Active and Diverse Summer Internships of Women's Golf

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2017-18 season was one to remember for Jacksonville University women's golf, on and off the course. The women won two tournaments, finished in the top three in three additional events, featured two All-Conference performers, six ASUN Golfer of the Week honors, and all that was just on the course.

Four members were also named WGCA All-American Scholars and the team finished T-13th in the country in GPA. Individually, recent graduate Maria Juliana Feuyo represented Jacksonville University in Malaysia in the final round of the Global CFA Research Challenge, finishing second out of three national regions after winning both the Florida and Americas Regional. This summer, three returning members of the team have branched out and expanded their experiences off the fairways as well.

Rising senior Amanda Detmer graduated last spring with an International Business degree, but that does not mean her career is over. An All-ASUN First Team selection last season for the second time in her career, she will be back in the fall to lead the Dolphins on the course. In the meantime, she put her degree to use abroad this summer. Detmer worked for ASICS in Barcelona, specifically for the TENKAN-TEN team that looked for the best sports and well-being startups in their growth phase.

"I found out about this opportunity with ASICS through my study abroad program, Barcelona SAE," said Detmer. "In March, I was interviewed by Barcelona SAE, and I asked for an internship that would work with different markets and companies."

She worked as part of a team of five interns researching specific markets to find and recruit the best startups to join the program. Out of the about 1,000 startups that were selected for screening, only five were chosen, including one vetted by Detmer, making her the only intern to successfully identify a finalist. TENKAN-TEN will be launched in mid-September and begins its Demo Tour in mid-January.

Her typical work day was five to seven hours Monday through Thursday, and she has not only learned about international business, but has had the opportunity to immerse herself in another culture.

"I have learned how to capture the attention of startups, conduct video calls with founders and CEOs of companies, how to work with a team and even how to ride public transportation," she said. "I showed up 30 minutes late on my first day because I took the wrong metro."

She has also networked with professionals from Spain, France and Germany, traveled to Portugal and Amsterdam, and experienced a whole new way of life.

"Air conditioning is very expensive so most places don't have it. To dry clothes, most people hang them out on the balcony," she said. "Everything from apartments to food portion sizes seem smaller.

"Meal times are also much different. Most people eat five meals a day, which is something that took me a while to get used to."

Maria Brunzell, a fellow rising senior and international student, went home to Kalmar, Sweden to intern in her desired field, physical therapy. She worked at three different PT locations, and shadowed several different therapists, in hospitals and clinics. Since she is not a PT student yet, the majority of the internship was observational, but she still stressed the amount of learning she was able to do.

"Physical therapy is my dream job and a possibility for me to pursue after I get my bachelor's degree in Kinesiology," said Brunzell. "My mother knew a few physical therapists in town which helped with my referral."

She interned for three weeks, first at the primary care center in the district, then the physical and occupational therapy clinic in the hospital, and finally at the hospital's rehab clinic. She recorded her observations in a journal at the end of each day to document what she learned for her advisor at JU.

"What I learned is hard to put into words, but it was incredible," she said. "I got to see what the profession could be, many different areas of it and the various opportunities, many of which I didn't know existed.

"I met some inspirational patients, which made me want to do this profession even more. One patient, who is an amputee, was one of the most positive human beings I have ever met. I got to hear so many different life stories and received a lot of positive energy."

Rising junior Hannah Berman, from nearby Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., stayed local for her summer internship. She worked with the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce in Ponte Vedra, and was the first to receive an opportunity through the new women's golf "StrongHER TogetHER" initiative. Most of her responsibilities revolved around the events put on by the Chamber and tourist related requests, something as a native of the area, she was well-equipped to help with.

Her typical day is 12-5 p.m., with a full 9 a.m.-5 p.m. workday on Fridays and assistance at occasional events at night. She has learned a variety of skills from the importance of budgeting to notetaking to the art of properly formulating an email in a business setting. She has also had the opportunity to network.

"I've had several opportunities to get lunch or coffee with successful business people in Jacksonville who are willing to share their insights and experiences with me," said Berman. "They have also offered me future job opportunities since I am a college athlete.

"They say the values college athletics offer, we are exactly the people they are looking for."

Of course, all three have managed to incorporate golf into their busy summer schedules, with Berman finishing runner-up in the First Coast Women's Amateur, just one of several events she participated in. Brunzell also stayed active playing in tournaments back in Sweden, while Detmer returned home to Indiana in July and recently finished T15 out of 90 in the Indiana Women's Open last week.

With school starting up again in a month and the season beginning in Colorado about a month later, the entire team is shifting its focus towards trying to top last year's successes on the course and in the classroom. As for Detmer, Brunzell and Berman, their activities during the summer helped live up to the JU women's golf "StrongHER TogetHER" campaign motto: building a stronger foundation on the course, in class and in life.