Above Par for the Course

C.J. Donegan earns competitive internship with 2018 PGA Championship

by Jong Cambron

As an avid fan of golf and a member of the Saints women’s golf team, junior Colleen (“C.J.”) Donegan feels like she’s won the lottery. During the 2018 PGA Championship, one of the game’s most prestigious events — and in its centennial year — she’ll be in the middle of the action.

Donegan was selected from a competitive pool of student applicants as the only marketing and administrative intern for the tournament, which will take place in St. Louis at Bellerive Country Club, located just two miles from Maryville.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event,” says Donegan. “This is the reason I got into sports. There’s only one, 100th championship, and I realize the importance of that. It’s unbelievable that I get to work at it.”

Donegan applied for the position in early August, but not without some hesitation. As a second-year student, she expected senior-level students to be considered more highly. However, thanks in part to a trio of sports industry experiences she gained in just one year through the Rawlings Sport Business Management program, her resume is strong.

Her volunteer positions took place during the 2017 spring semester. Donegan first worked with Rawlings for the St. Louis Cardinals Warm-Up. She also volunteered during the NCAA Division I wrestling championship Fan Festival held in St. Louis, and traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to work a women’s basketball championship.

“The thing about our program is that you come out of it with such a great resume, it’s hard not to get hired,” Donegan says.

Bellerive offered her the paid internship after phone and in-person interviews.

“I’m so excited I can’t put it into words,” she says. “I hung up the phone and was smiling the rest of the day.”

Her parents, who are also avid golf fans, were ecstatic.

“My mom screamed when I told her,” says Donegan. “My dad cried, because he was proud of me. Most sophomores aren’t getting internships like this.”

Donegan’s first task is to recruit operational sponsors. She’ll also coordinate event volunteers.

The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 9-12.

“I’m planning to spend my summer living in their office,” says Donegan. “It’s probably going to be really intense. As a golfer, I understand the importance of an event like this and the history and the drive to make it perfect.”