Through the game of golf, our program aims to teach youth life skills that will make a lasting impact in their lives. Within a wide array of opportunities, youth are given environments to build upon what they have learned and network with professionals. Alumni of The First Tee continue to demonstrate this impact by sharing their own stories of networking and finding success after The First Tee.
In 2016, Kayla Choi, an alumna of The First Tee of San Francisco, attended the PwC Executive Forum at THE PLAYERS Championship. Kayla shares how this experience helped her start thinking about her professional career and eventually lead her to an internship with PwC this summer.
What was the biggest impact The First Tee had in your life?
The First Tee has built me into a more confident player. The confidence I’ve gained through golf has opened up so many opportunities for me. I was a late bloomer to golf. I only began playing seriously my sophomore year in high school. Yet, The First Tee took me in and helped me build my game and the confidence I needed to join my school’s varsity team. The First Tee has given me something to be so passionate about and has helped me expand my network through events such as the PwC Executive Business Forum. The passion, confidence, and life skills I’ve taken away from being in the First Tee is irreplaceable.
Tell us about your experience at the 2016 PwC Executive Forum.
It was the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. I can’t even begin to describe the experiences, memories, and wonderful people I’ve met through this event. I had so much fun watching THE PLAYERS Championship, meeting all the wonderful PwC professionals, Mr. Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., PwC’s chairman Tim Ryan, and the former PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem. I was also so fortunate to have Amity Millhiser as my mentor throughout the event.
My favorite moment of the event was being able to give a speech at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse in front of so many esteemed professionals. It was the first speech I had ever given. The life skills that The First Tee has taught me couldn’t have been more useful at the Executive Business Forum. I was able to use the communication and networking skills I had learned to leave a good first impression and build lasting relationships with those who I had met. I was also able to articulate and roughly plan out my future goals with the mentors we had and that helped me solidify my future goals.
what you did to follow up with the individuals you met at the Forum?
As soon as I left, I made sure to email all the contacts I had made at the event to thank everyone for the advice, support, and the experiences I had. I reached out to the individuals I met on LinkedIn and connected with them through social media, such as Twitter. It was also such a great event to find possible internships and jobs.
Did any of The First Tee Core Values stand out during your follow up process?
The First Tee Core Values of confidence, perseverance, and courtesy were definitely present when I was following up with everyone I met. I had to be confident in my encounters and confident when reaching out to the professionals on LinkedIn. I had to persevere when I didn’t get email responses back from those I reached out to. And it was very important to be courteous when following up and emailing those I had connected with at the event. The First Tee had taught me professionalism and timeliness. Those are two skills that are really important especially when networking.
Tell us about the internship you accepted with PwC this summer.
I was able to land a great internship with PwC this summer in San Francisco. I’ll be working with a group within their internal firm services. I’ll be able to get a feel for what it’s like to work at one of the Big 4 accounting firms in my favorite city. I’d love to end up working in San Francisco after graduation and I think this will be a great experience that will set me up with a great network of professionals. It’s so exciting to be an intern for PwC especially after attending their Executive Business Forum.
Give Back and Get Involved
Looking for ways to stay involved with The First Tee after you leave the program? The First Tee Alumni Network provides a variety of opportunities for alumni to network and build their career.