One Rhodes rising junior has been at the center of the action for the last six months, preparing for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Forty-six of the top 50 players in the world will be participating and, as golfers and golf lovers from around the world descend on Memphis July 24-28, Paris hopes their star power elevates Memphis and recruits more supporters for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Annie Paris, a religious studies and business double major and a member of the Rhodes Women’s Golf Team, began working in the St. Jude tournament office in January, organizing merchandising, facilitating interactions between St. Jude patients and players, and doing “something different every day” in anticipation of the tournament.
“This has absolutely influenced my future career goals. I’m meeting with as many people as I can, both at St. Jude through the tournament office and through FedEx, to find out what type of role I would love to be in after graduation,” says Paris.
For Paris, this internship is just one of the many experiences that has been made possible by Rhodes and its location in Memphis. On campus, Rhodes students participate in more than 100 student organizations, clubs, and intramural sports as well as 23 Division III intercollegiate teams. Off campus, Memphis provides endless opportunities in every industry and for any interest for the 75% of students who complete internships and the more than 80% who participate in community service.
“Being in Memphis is one of the reasons I chose Rhodes in the first place, because there are so many opportunities,” Paris says.
“There are so many opportunities within St. Jude and ALSAC alone. They are both really open to hiring young Rhodes students, and it’s a great way to build connections. The activities I’m involved in at Rhodes were huge pluses for my getting this internship over other candidates. Being so close to so many opportunities at Rhodes and in Memphis has been incredible. None of this would have been possible without Rhodes.”
Paris hopes to bring some of what she learns at the tournament back to her teammates. But more important is the effect this experience has had on forming her career goals. Although she grew up around golf and loves it, she is comfortable with the fact that she will not play professionally. She says this internship has shown her how she can incorporate her passion for golf into her future.
“Sports marketing or sports business in general is something I’m really striving towards, and this has been a great first internship for that. Seeing these professionals and being able to interact with them is super special, and I’m hoping to learn a few things from them. They’re great players, and to be able to see them play in person and to be a part of making it happen has been awesome.”