As an avid golfer and a person who thrives in work environments driven by change and innovation, Brandon Monk, MBA '07, couldn't have found a more perfect summer internship than working for the PGA Tour in Ponte Vedra, Fla.
As part of the PGA Tour's new media group he worked with a small, 15-person team, exploring new strategies for developing markets on the Internet, XM satellite radio, mobile phones, and video. And, because of the ever-changing nature of these technologies, he describes the group as operating very much like a young startup.
“It was really fast paced, really exciting,” he says. “I was working many deals all at once, and they totally utilized me as a resource.”
Part of the job, he explains, was keeping the PGA Tour strategically on top of such recent Internet trends as MySpace and YouTube, so that hugely popular golf-related videos — like Fuzzy Zellar's unbelievable hole-in-one earlier this year — could be positioned to draw users to pgatour.com.
In addition, he worked to create competitive analysis for future business partnerships for the new media group, helped in the development of the 2007 sales and marketing plan, and, in his free time, played a lot golf.
Monk says the people he met during his 12 weeks with the PGA Tour came from all areas of business, from consulting to media relations to sales and marketing, but they all shared a common passion not only for the game of golf, but also for the business of golf, particularly the PGA Tour.
“The greatest part about the PGA Tour versus any other sporting leagues,” he says, “is that, as a non-profit, all their money goes back to charity and the Tour really celebrates that. They just surpassed $1 billion dollars in charity last year, which is more than all the rest of the other sporting leagues combined. And they have a goal by 2010 to surpass $2 billion.”
Monk, who's career is most likely pointing towards the pharmaceutical industry, says his experience with the PGA Tour and particularly the new media group has given him invaluable experience working in an environment where you continuously have to innovate, which is exactly what he finds so attractive about the health-care industry.
“It is something that is not static, something that is evolving right before you daily, in a business model that is ever-changing and that is in need of change,” he says.
As for Monk's love of golf, it seems to only have been strengthened by his time in Florida.
“I am a fan, a player, and an advocate for the game because I think it is one of those games you can play until you are 80” he says. “Just this past weekend two of my classmates and I were playing down in Plymouth and they paired us up with a gentleman who was actually 70 years old. And he could hit [the ball] 220 yards! That's my dream, to still be playing golf forty-plus years from now.”