Early next week, people from around the country will flock to Augusta, Georgia, for the annual Masters Tournament. The golf tournament doesn’t just attract ticket holders, though — many USC students will also be attending to work the event.
Every year, USC sends several hundred students to the Masters to work in a variety of jobs from food service to guest relations to retail. These students gain valuable service industry experience at a major national sporting event.
The students typically come from the School of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, but the tournament has a lot to offer students of other majors as well.
Second-year GSCOM student Jon Wall has been working in food service at the Masters since high school. Wall says that his business school classes helped prepare him for the professional environment of the tournament.
“The professional communication and management classes I’ve taken, I believe, have helped me in order to talk more professional with people that come in the restaurant and with my managers,” Wall said.
Some students even further removed from hospitality-related majors are working internships with the Masters to help further their careers. Second-year print journalism student Matt Marzulla, who works the sports section of The Daily Gamecock, said he hopes to learn from the media organizations at the event and make professional connections.
“It’s one of the best opportunities you’re going to have if you get it because, even if you’re not in the business school or anything like that, like I’m a journalism student and the fact that it’s on my resume, that’s unbelievable,” Marzulla said.
Wall also noted the unique opportunity for networking that the Masters provides for students.
“I plan to continue to keep working there and then possibly just get some connections and see where that takes me,” Wall said.
Working the Masters also has its challenges. Students frequently work from the early hours of the morning until late at night. But the frenetic environment teaches students a lot about working hard and developing a strong work ethic.
“The most talked about thing that everyone says is the most challenging is the hours because you’re going to be working 15 hours a day,” Marzulla said. “I have to keep a positive attitude, keep the patrons happy the whole time, not let anything bother me. So I think, for myself, it’s going to be such a huge obstacle.”
Despite the long hours, USC students come out of the Masters with great working and professional experience that Marzulla says is worth the challenge.
“I can’t wait to give myself a pat on the back and just be like, wow that was incredible, I’m so happy I accomplished that,” he said.