Story by Sirui Mi
Originally from Arizona, Morgan Easterbrook is an undergraduate student studying hospitality management in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. She recently finished a short practicum with Master’s Golf Tournament working with PGA of America in Augusta, Georgia, where she worked as an intern assistant to Jennifer Kenwell, hospitality executive, PGA of America.
“Most people focus on the games and star players during PGA tournaments, however, from a business perspective,” said Easterbrook, “it is the most important golf industry networking event of the year.” Golf associations, sponsors, sports and entertainment companies are all there to socialize, establish partnerships and strike new deals. Event planning and delivery are intense during this period. Morgan assisted in three banquets during one weekend, two of which accommodated more than 100 people.
During her practicum, Easterbrook learned what a long process event planning can be. Her supervisor, Kenwell, started planning six months out for these banquets. Event planning requires the ability to see the big picture as well as all the minor details. One minor change could lead to a series of other changes. Easterbrook quickly learned to double check everything before an event. For example, golden steak knives were temporarily unavailable before one banquet at the facility so they changed to silver steak knives and replaced all the serving dishes so the tableware looked perfect for the color scheme that night.
She says her supervisor is her role model: “Jennifer was so calm when facing all the unexpected events at the banquets.” Morgan says although it sounded cliché, “Hard work does pay off.” She also wanted to let her fellow rams know that “an unpaid internship can turn people away, but don’t say no to these opportunities.” She stated, “The knowledge and experience you learn is invaluable.”
Easterbrook sees herself in a position like Kenwell’s in the future, and looks forward to taking event planning classes in the FSHN department this fall.