For years, Hunter Jeffrey ’22 planned to work his way into managing an NFL team after earning his degree in business administration with a sports management concentration. But when a friend introduced him to disc golf, the Kohawk football player decided to take a completely different course with his career.
Hunter was hooked. He binged every disc golf video, learned everything he could about the community and industry and dedicated every second he could to playing disc golf. Little did he know, the Ledgestone Insurance Open he learned about would play a major role in a disc golf tournament internship experience.
As a practicum requirement for his degree, Hunter knew he had to complete an internship, so he turned to his Kohawk football position coach and mentor Larry Atwater ’82 for networking assistance. He secured an internship interview with one of Larry's contacts but couldn't get the disc golf tournament out of his mind. Larry encouraged Hunter to email the tournament director. A few months later he set off to Illinois to intern at the Ledgestone Insurance headquarters and work with not one, but two tournaments.
“I talk to Coach Atwater often. I’m in his office a lot. He helped provide me with a list of internships I could do with our local sports teams in Cedar Rapids. But I told him I was interested in disc golf and talked to him about the tournament. He let me do what I wanted to do to find my passion,” Hunter said.
His first major assignment was traveling to Michigan with the Ledgestone Insurance crew to help set up courses for the Discraft’s Great Lakes Open. Once back in Illinois, Hunter worked in their disc golf warehouse handling supply shipping logistics and customer orders. The Ledgestone Insurance Open was all-hands on deck with about 1,800 players and over 3,000 spectators. Hunter set up courses, assisted players with check-in and packet pickups and directed players and spectators to course locations.
“The biggest lesson it taught me was time management and event management. I saw all the behind the scenes and listened carefully to how things were planned,” he said.
“The internship helped me out a lot. I think without this internship I would have been stuck in the mud trying to get a job in the NFL after graduation because I know it's a difficult industry to get into. This really opened up my options to new ideas,” he added.
Internship requirements are not exclusive to business administration majors. Coe faculty and staff work tirelessly to connect students to real-life learning opportunities. Every Kohawk is guaranteed an internship, research or off-campus study experience. These efforts have been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review. This is the fourth consecutive year Coe has been ranked in the Top 25 in the internship category, with 10th being its highest ranking this year.
With this exposure to the industry, it’s no surprise Hunter is eager to get more involved in disc golf after graduation. Right now, he’s enjoying his last football season and quality time with his teammates.