Lucas Virnig, ’14, is an economics and finance student at the Robins School of Business and an avid golfer who, after a rigorous interview process, was one of 27 students chosen from more than 1,000 applicants to complete a summer internship with the PGA Tour.
“I took a finance class during my junior year with Dr. Cassandra Marshall who would begin each class by informing us of upcoming events at the Robins School,” Virnig said. “One day she told us that Tim Finchem, PGA Tour commissioner, would be speaking in a C-Suite Conversation with Senior Associate Dean Richard Coughlan. I knew I had to attend.”
Not only did Virnig attend, but at the conclusion of the event he introduced himself to Commissioner Finchem, who gave him his contact information and encouraged him to apply to an internship with the organization. After the application process, Virnig was offered a position as a business analysis intern in the digital media department at the PGA Tour’s headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
“I spent the larger part of my summer analyzing and evaluating the monetization strategy of PGATour.com, preparing for a site redesign which will launch early in 2014,” Virnig said. “The PGA Tour really cares about their interns getting the most they can out of the internship and finding success after their time with the organization.”
One of Virnig’s favorite aspects of his internship was the professional development series the PGA Tour hosted for interns. “Among the programs was a leadership insight series where PGA Tour executives would come speak with us about their experience at the Tour and how they got there. Everyone in the company was always ready and willing to meet with you, answer questions and help you in your experience; it didn’t matter whether they had been there two or 20 years,” Virnig said.
When he wasn’t working, Virnig took advantage of interns’ access to the famed TPC Sawgrass golf course, improving his golf game, and bonding with his fellow interns and PGA Tour employees.
At the end of his internship, Virnig and his peers were invited to a lunch with Commissioner Finchem, bringing his PGA Tour experience full circle. “My time with the PGA Tour opened my eyes to an industry I hope to join after graduation,” Virnig said. “The sports industry is pretty small and opportunities within golf are even smaller. I put a lot of pressure on myself as this was most likely my last internship before graduation and the beginning my professional career. I worked really hard to refine myself and my skills.
“The sports industry is a very tight-knit community. It’s tough to get in but once you break in there are endless opportunities to explore. I hope to have the chance to work my hardest at something I love in a company I am passionate about,” Virnig said.
Until his graduation in May, Virnig can be found on the local golf courses around Richmond working on his swing with University of Richmond’s club golf team.