Photo credit: Taryn Bray, PGA Tour

UNT finance senior and collegiate golfer Nyca Khaw may be one step closer to her dream career thanks to a summer internship with the very organization she hopes to someday work for - the PGA Tour.

“I really want to pursue a career in the sports industry and golf is obviously my favorite sport,” says Khaw. “So the opportunity to put golf and business together after I graduate would be amazing.”

Khaw, who plays on the UNT women's golf team, spent last summer interning with the PGA Tour Tournament Business Affairs department in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. There, she was given two major assignments: compile a comprehensive inventory report to calculate gross profit margins for each tournament and track the advertising budget for each stop of the Tour.

While movies and television typically portray interns as little more than glorified gophers - fetching coffee, making copies and performing other menial tasks - UNT students like Khaw recognize that internships can be pivotal learning experiences for students looking to break into their dream careers.

Internships help students acclimate themselves to a professional work environment, network with people in their desired industry and gain real-world work experience to pad their resumes. In some cases, an internship can also be parlayed into a student's first job after graduation. That's what Khaw hopes.

“My ideal job would be with the PGA Tour,” Khaw says of her post-graduation hopes. “They have offices outside the United States in London, Tokyo and Malaysia. If I don't get a chance to work with the headquarters I would love to work for them outside of the United States, too.”

And sometimes there are other perks, too.

Khaw says interns were allowed access to the TPC Sawgrass course at PGA headquarters after their work hours. Additionally, Khaw was one of just a few interns selected to travel on a business trip to Baltimore for the Constellation Senior Player Championship at the end of June. And it doesn't hurt that she learned a thing or two along the way.

“Working with the Tournament Business Affairs team broadened my knowledge and gave me insights into the business world,” Khaw says. “I've learned a lot about the PGA Tour's daily business operations and the decision-making process that helps achieve their goals and objectives.”

Putting in the work

The Mean Green golfer is no stranger to hard work. Originally from Malaysia, Khaw had to be her own recruiter in order to play collegiate golf in the United States, sending in her transcripts, SAT scores and swing analysis to any school she was interested in.

“It was a really long and stressful process,” Khaw says. “I had to Skype with the coach a few times, and it took a long time to mail my transcripts and wait for responses since it was international.”

Photo credit: Taryn Bray, PGA Tour

She says she was originally interested in UNT because of the reputation of the business school and the decision to come to Denton was made even easier when she was offered a full-ride athletic scholarship.

Despite experiencing an initial culture shock coming to the U.S. for the first time as a college freshman, Khaw grew as a student and an athlete according to UNT women's golf head coach Michael Akers.

“Nyca continues to work hard to take full advantage of every opportunity she gets,” Akers says. “This summer was another great opportunity for her and that experience will be invaluable for her academically and athletically. It was the absolute perfect internship for her.”