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Fernanda Muñoz’s Internship at Top Golf International

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Fernanda enjoyed the Top Golf corporate holiday party with several of her mentors and fellow coworkers.

Fernanda Muñoz, a global business and finance student at the Jindal School of Management, accepted an internship at Top Golf International to dive into the field of finance. In this interview, Fernanda shares details of her experience, including how essential it is to network.

Q: How has your internship experience been?

A: I am currently a finance intern with Top Golf International, which is an entertainment company. I started on November 16, 2015, and over the course of the past three months. I have learned to work in accounts payable, doing financial analysis and researching. I just love everything about it.

Q: Where do students begin to find their internship?

A: Well, I guess it all depends. I obtained my internship while working as a waitress for a Mexican restaurant. One of my clients approached me and asked if I’d like to work for her company because she liked my work ethic. So, it can be through networking with somebody you know, or through school. We have the Career Management Center, career fairs and lots of resources that can help you obtain an internship.

Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship?

A: The most important thing I’ve learned is always to keep an open mind in everything. When I joined the company, I expected to know everything already, but they don’t expect that. As an intern, they expect you to learn from them. Always keep an open mind, and be aware that if you make an error or a mistake, it’s OK. As your network of co-workers, they’re there to help you, not make your life harder.

Q: Do you have any embarrassing stories from your internship?

A: I did make a mistake while I was working in the accounts payable department, where we have to make invoices and credits. I actually entered a credit memo for the wrong company. It had the same name, but it was a different location. I entered the credit card for a company in Chicago rather than Texas. We actually drew money from the company in Chicago. Near the end of the fiscal year, my supervisor emailed me to tell me my mistake, and she CC'd the controller of the company. I was so embarrassed; I was red and all worried. But she said, “Oh it’s OK, it happens to the best of us.” I was able to correct it quickly, but I was pretty nervous about that.

Q: What is your advice for students who make a mistake during their internship?

A: Again, to have an open mind, and be aware that if you make an error it’s OK. The best thing to do is to learn from the error and try not to make it again. Be able to take responsibility. Don’t say you didn’t know. Be able to say, “I’m sorry I did that. I will never do that again, and thank you for letting me know I made this mistake.” Be able to own your mistake.

Q: How much of your internship is work, and how much is play?

A: It’s probably 90 percent work, 10 percent play. Top Golf is a really fun company. We have biweekly breakfasts on Friday mornings and “Wine-down Wednesdays,” which I cannot partake in because I’m not of age. But they have food, so you can go and socialize and network. It’s a pretty good company, but in the finance department it’s serious most of the time, because the numbers you’re working with affect the company directly. So I would say the ratio is 90 percent work, 10 percent fun. Although some of the other departments at Top Golf are more balanced.

Q: Are there many networking opportunities?

A: Yes. Like I said, we have biweekly breakfasts, so every other Friday a department of the headquartered company gets breakfast. You introduce yourself to the new people. It gives you a chance to expand your network and influences.

Fernanda enjoys free plays and tip-top treatment at Top Golf International during her internship.

Q: Do you get any discounts at Top Golf?

A: I get in for free! I get to play for free, and I can bring five people for free as well with my employee card. When they scan your employee card at the front, they can tell you’re from corporate, and they’ll say, “Oh, you’re from corporate? What can I get you?” We get 25 percent off food, and we can go as often as we want.

Q: So what other perks are there?

A: We have an incentive system in place called “high-five” to high-five your coworkers. Whenever you’re doing well in the company, somebody will send you an email and “high-five” you with certain points, which at the end of the month you can exchange or continue to accumulate for clothes, sunglasses or other items. I have Top Golf shirts and a free backpack.

Q: What’s the office culture like?

A: It’s really relaxed, but we remember to take things seriously while still having fun.

Q: What’s the dress code like?

A: It’s very business casual. I’m actually already dressed for work tonight. We don’t wear suits. Usually everybody wears jeans and a T-shirt, and some tennis shoes. In the summer, people wear shorts. It is super business casual. Actually, the day I went to interview they told me, “Don’t wear a suit.”

Despite the casual work wear at Top Golf International, Fernanda dressed up for the initial interview. 

Q: Do you plan on staying with the company and continuing the internship for a full-time paid position?

A: I would like to. I like the company and every single part of it. I would like to work for them full time. One of my co-workers actually said that they were thinking about giving me a full-time offer to stay, but since I’m still a junior they want to wait until I’ve graduated. At a corporate level, they need full-time employees because the commitment is huge and each person has important responsibilities. I would love to work there. Now that they know my work ethic, I will be more likely to get a position. I will definitely apply once I finish school.

Q: Are you planning on getting another internship this summer?

A: I actually already have an internship lined up this summer. It’s in Guadalajara City, Mexico, where I’m from. It’s about two hours away from the East Coast. I got the internship by networking with my dad’s friends. They have a company that works like GroupOn. It’s an online marketing system where you can go and purchase cars, trips and hotel nights.

Q: Would you say networking is important to get an internship?

A: Yes, networking is very important. Always be really polite and keep your work ethic. You never know who’s going to be the one who opens a door for you.

Gaby Mokry

Gaby is pursuing her MS Marketing program at The Jindal School of Management. Before coming to UT Dallas, she gained experience at traditional and digital advertising agencies. She appreciates a freshly brewed cup of joe and spends her free time surrounding herself with creative projects, Netflix binges and biking on White Rock Lake. Read more articles

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