Sammi Lee is a junior on the UGA Women’s Golf Team. She is currently a finance major. After being accepted into the Corsair Society, Sammi wanted to share her experience to encourage other student-athletes in their career pursuits.
Like most of us, I had a plan. Four Februarys ago I committed to the University of Georgia, because I fell in love with Athens and I felt it was a place I could grow in all aspects of my life: golf, academics, and personally. I was on what I believed was the perfect path to a future in professional golf. I was going into a program where I would be challenged and have the opportunity to grow my skills. My parents and coaches were always supportive. I was going to be an All-American at UGA and then continue my golf career on the LPGA. Golf was all I knew. It was who I was.
It is now the spring semester of my junior year of college. Everyone always tells you to enjoy every second because the time flies by. But you don’t really realize how fast time goes until it hits you that you only have one more football season in the student section. It’s a scary thought, but the real world is quickly approaching. The real world that I will be venturing into is much different than what I had originally planned. But that’s the thing about plans…they usually change. When I was younger, I saw no future for myself other than professional golf. And now, I am heading to a summer internship in Sales & Trading at Barclays and then hopefully onto a full time job on Wall Street.
Last summer, my academic advisor suggested that I apply for Corsair Society. Corsair is a University of Georgia finance society that prepares a select group of students for recruiting and internships on Wall Street. I didn’t think my chances were high, but if I was accepted I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. I would have to find a way to balance it with my golf team commitments. After the interview process, I was accepted into Corsair. I was thrilled but had doubts about my ability to land an internship in New York. I lacked work experience since I had spent summers competing, my interview skills were lacking, and while I could talk about golf for hours, I knew little about China’s devaluation of the Yuan. But, here I am three months later: I have my internship for the summer and have learned more through this recruiting process than I have in any classroom. The only thing that would have really helped my experience would have been having a student-athlete by my side letting me know that I would survive 6 am workouts, do well in my regular school work, and make it to golf practice–all while studying and interviewing for summer internships.
My dream is to take the skills and lessons that I have learned through recruiting, and pass them along to other student-athletes who are in the same place that I was. Thinking about a future outside of our comfort zone within athletics is scary enough; actually pursuing it was a bridge I never thought I would cross. So, I will be doing a mini blog-series full of advice on preparation, networking, balancing recruiting on top of schoolwork and athletics, and effectively selling your own story.
It’s easy in life to get caught up in the routine. It’s easy for us to stay inside the student-athlete bubble: our days are full as it is with school and athletics. While sports will always be a huge aspect of our lives, we are more than just our sport. There’s no better time than right now to explore all that college has to offer. Now is the time to discover our skills, our passions, and what path we want to travel. I hope to be a resource to help any student-athlete find their way outside of the athletic world. You will find that there are endless possibilities and that you have everything you need to succeed.