On a blue-skied, wind-free, remarkably peaceful August morning at world-renowned Whistling Straits Golf Course near Sheboygan, Wis., Lakeland College grad Tess Myklebust peers out over the spectacularly scenic 18th fairway.
With the sun rising fast above this majestic chunk of land, Tess smiles and imagines how different the scene here will be almost exactly one year from now.
“I’m very excited to be a part of something so big,” she says with a smile. “When you work on it day to day, you sometimes don’t realize how big a deal this really is. But it’s going to be incredible.”
Tess will spend the next year helping plan for the 2015 PGA Championship (set for next Aug. 10-16 at Whistling Straits) after recently converting a three-month post-graduate marketing internship with The PGA of America into a full-time job with the organization.
“I really, really want to work in sports as a career, so this is a perfect fit for me,” says Tess, who graduated in May with a double major of marketing and business management and a minor in sports management. “I’m very blessed to have this opportunity. When the championship director asked me to stay on after my internship, it was pretty neat.”
Currently, Tess and the half-dozen other Whistling Straits-based PGA employees are working hard on a final drive to promote pre-registration for tickets – which go on sale to the general public on Aug. 11. This Saturday, she’ll be at Miller Park representing the PGA for a final ticket registration push at a Milwaukee Brewers’ game. Starting in winter, her focus will shift to helping organize the mammoth volunteer component of this global event. Her title will be volunteer operations assistant.
“This will be a diverse experience for me,” she says. “I love what I’m doing and I love being a part of this team. I felt like I belonged my first week. They welcomed me with open arms.”
Tess, a Wisconsin Dells native, arrived at Lakeland to play volleyball. During her time as a Muskie, she was a portrait of academic and athletic success. In April, she earned the prestigious Clarence H. Koehler Senior Award, given each year to the student who best exemplifies Lakeland’s spirit through outstanding academic achievement, engagement in campus activities and commitment.
Her Lakeland experience included internships with Community Bank & Trust and in Lakeland’s communications department, as well as a clerical assistant position for the college’s business administration office. She was a two-time Outstanding Business Student award winner and won the Outstanding Marketing Student award this year.
“The diversity of every facet of Lakeland College was so good for me,” she says. “I learned a lot of different things, and developed a well-rounded view of the world.”
After the 2015 PGA Championship concludes, there are no guarantees for Tess. But over the next 12 months, she will have plenty of chances to showcase her intelligence, work ethic and dedication to teamwork.
“I may have the opportunity to stay on with the PGA, or go somewhere else,” she says. “Or, if nothing else, this will be a great résumé builder and overall experience.”
Tess walks past the bright white-outfit clad caddies waiting for golfers to arrive, and heads to the modest PGA of America trailer parked on a Whistling Straits lot.
It’s gorgeous outside, but there’s lots of work to be done inside. A year, after all, can go by mighty fast.