Business and Tennis Instruction: A Comprehensive College Education

I will be much more ready to take on any challenges and opportunities that await me in the future.

College of Business student Cole Heule began his college instruction studying Music Education and Elementary Education. After dedicating two years to his studies Heule realized that a classroom wasn’t a suitable setting for him. He came across the Ferris State Professional Tennis Management (PTM) program and changed career paths immediately. Heule is on track to graduate in spring 2016.

If he had to decide on his future today, Heule would choose to “remain a tennis instructor until I cannot move as well as I can now. After that, I would not mind branching off into managing a facility that offers tennis, or perhaps even exploring the marketing aspect of the tennis industry.”

Currently interning as the Director of Tennis at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Heule has gained insight into the day-to-day demands of working in the tennis industry.

“This internship is probably the best work experience I’ve had in terms of preparing me for the future. This has been a difficult, yet highly rewarding internship, and I feel that after my time here has passed, I will be much more ready to take on any challenges and opportunities that await me in the future,” said Huele.

His director role may pull him in many demanding directions, but will also allow him to reach his long-term career goals. His duties include daily clay court maintenance, brainstorming lesson plans for juniors and adults, communicating with new clients, and teaching private lessons.

“Obtaining this position has allowed me to take on more off-court responsibilities, which I thought would benefit my long-term development. Thus, I was very pleased to obtain the position here on [Mackinaw Island],” said Huele.

Similar to Huele, PTM student Emily Schreur also aspires to one day obtain a director role at a tennis facility. Schreur will graduate from Ferris after completing her racquet sales internship at Wilson Sporting Goods; an internship she chose to learn about business constituents within the industry.

The comprehensive PTM program prepares students to exceed in multiple areas. Students are taught tennis classes to improve their teaching techniques, and business classes to understand behind-the-scenes structural components.

“Whether it be the teaching side or the business side [of the industry], this program prepares me,” said Schreur.

Ferris students who graduate with a PTM degree have a job placement rate of 100 percent. Students believe that this is due to the program’s structure and reliance on internships.

“Most of the students in PTM do two or three teaching internships, which is great! I would encourage current PTM students and students in other majors to branch out and take an internship that perhaps they wouldn’t normally take. The experience is worth it… and hard work does not go unnoticed!”

In addition to his experience while interning, Huele credits his tennis management education and professors for the industry success he’s experienced thus far.

What’s his greatest takeaway from his internship experience?

“I have learned that no matter how hard one can work, there can always be something that goes wrong. Sometimes it may not even be one’s fault, but they still have to learn how to deal with the situation. It does not mean that one is a bad employee, as everyone can and will make mistakes, but it is how one deals with these mistakes that helps them rise above the rest,” said Huele.