Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.
Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet: Chad Ruthig
He is: A junior from Chesaning, Mich, majoring in Professional Tennis Management
Internship: Chad is a tennis pro for 30A Tennis in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. His 12-week internship is paid.
What he’s learning: Chad’s responsibilities include court maintenance, working in the pro shop, running tennis clinics for children and adults, stringing racquets and giving private lessons.
“I love working individually with any type of player, whether he or she is an advanced or beginning player,” he said. “When I can help my student learn more about the game that I love and watch them have fun at the same time, I realize how much I love my job.”
Something cool: While taking every advantage to learn new things from his experienced co-workers, Chad also enjoys the challenges that come with running children’s clinics.
“I have a lot of responsibility running a kid’s clinic all by myself, which isn’t easy, but at the same time it allows me to become a much better teacher,” said Chad, who noted that living on the Gulf of Mexico is a perk that allows for beach time when he’s not working.
On campus: Chad is a member of the Professional Tennis Management Student Association and plays Club Tennis. He completed an internship last summer as a pro at Ferris’ tennis camps and also gained practical experience through an ongoing internship at Ferris’ Racquet and Fitness Center, which is a requirement for the bachelor’s degree program.
That involvement has “greatly helped me with hands on experience of what the tennis industry is like,” Chad said. “My PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) certifications and workshops I’ve been through at Ferris gave me the experience I needed to get this job. This internship has definitely helped confirm my career choice and pushes me to work harder so I can one day be in a position where I’m hiring interns like myself.”
His plan: After he graduates in the spring of 2015, Chad hopes to teach at a resort or country club and eventually work his way up to become a director of tennis.